There is just no end to the numbers of things you can speak to concerning justice for those in need in our society. Every day in Washington produces another round of targeted cuts that hurt those already hanging by their fingernails.
We don’t very often present you with unfocused action targets, but there are two issues afloat before Congress that require your intervention, your voice, so we have a choice of action items from which to choose or you can do both.
Shutting Down the Government
Although one house of Congress cannot change anything on its own regarding policies, there is one place they can be totally effective, and that is blocking necessary steps such as refusing to pass the bill raising the debt ceiling.
The deadline to do this is upon us – will narrow interests bring America to a halt?
This upcoming vote is not to increase new debt but to authorize payment of existing debt written into the government’s budget (that we do not have) or continuing resolutions (upon which we have operated for years.) It is paying the bills we have already run up.
If the House refuses to authorize upholding ‘full faith and credit’ of our payments, everything except Social Security will come to a screeching halt. No more funding for anyone – payment of wages and salaries via IOUs only – will occur. This happened in 1995 but at that point budgets had already been passed. This time budgets are not in place save for prepayments to state health care exchange work with funds available through the end of 2013.
The functions of government will simply stop save for dedicated employees who agree to work without pay. Disbursement of payments to anyone other than Social Security recipients will end including for our veterans. For millions of people, this will be a nightmare.
The chaos that will ensue is welcomed by some in Congress, and it is toward the end of that incredible foolishness that we ask you to speak loudly and clearly! It is the height of immorality for elected officials to permit their government – an elected democracy — to cease functioning. It is particularly cruel when shutdown becomes a means of harming those whom the private sector has already abandoned or cannot assist.
To contact your congressional representative or senators, click here: http://www.churchimpact.org/take-action.html
Be sure to enter your address and/or ZIP to connect yourself with your specific elected officials, then you can email them, send a FAX, or phone to make clear that shutting down the government is a reckless and immoral action. Your voice matters – the more legislators hear from you, the more likely they are to take sane and sensible actions.
From the Mouths of Babies…
Again, no one house of Congress can pass legislation alone. However, the vote Thursday September 19 to cut the Farm Bill’s essential Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by $40 billion was an exercise in such cold hearted and callous disregard of hard times in America that there are almost no words to express outrage.
Declaring this is a vote to protect “middle class people” from spending tax money on fraud and abuse, this is no more than the perpetuation of a Social Darwinist principle that has recently reared its head in Congress. Embraced by members of both parties, this is a 19th-century view about poverty being one’s own fault that leaves most of us speechless in this economic downturn, the worst since the Great Depression.
The non-partisan Government Accountability Office has vetted SNAP and found it a model of efficiency. Fraud is at its lowest in decades. In California – the state with the lowest percentage of use by eligible people – has great need of increased SNAP access not less.
We apparently can spend billions in support of industrial farming that is already self sufficient, but we cannot feed our nation’s families. Not even our nation’s children. Out of the mouths of babes… These are largely working families whose incomes are not capable of sustaining the basics of life. Eighty percent of food stamp recipients are working families, and the rest are on Social Security, some forms of disability income, veterans, or some homeless folks. That is serious need.
Please click here (http://capwiz.com/cachurches/home/) to let your Representative know that care for those in need, for those who have yet to be helped in this downturn, is the first, not the last, role of a legitimate government. SNAP is the most cost effective program in terms of providing nutrition to everyone from tiny children to our elders who cannot keep up with rising prices in food and have scant access to things such as farmers’ markets.
It is heartless for Congress to even think about once again supporting the well to do agricultural corporations while taking basic food from our people.
Whether your representative is supportive of your position or not, they need to hear from you. Those with whom you agree need to count your agreement as a way of saying to their skeptical colleagues, “Well MY constituents tell me…” Your voice matters just as much with your friends as with your foes.
Please raise your voices for justice on honoring our national obligations to keep the nation running and to speak for those who do not even have adequate bread on the table.