Coalition on Human Needs: Group Letter Seeking Higher House Level for FY 23 Domestic/International (NDD) Appropriations
Please sign this group letter to Congress urging swift work to approve increases in domestic and international program funding (known as non-defense discretionary, or NDD). National, state and local organizations are welcome to sign.
The letter asks Congress to appropriate no less than the NDD amounts proposed by the House of Representatives for Fiscal Year 2023; these funding levels are somewhat higher than the amounts proposed by Senate Democrats. Our entire community knows how much this funding is needed and we urge your organization to join us in calling on Congress to enact an omnibus funding bill that at minimum includes the House NDD appropriations levels. A large number of signing groups will help to prevent attempts to reduce funding in final negotiations for an omnibus appropriations bill, and will underscore the need for an omnibus bill, not further flat funding.
Read the letter text below, and then sign using the included form. Have any problems with this form? Email Nicolai Haddal, Field and Events Manager: email@example.com
FULL LETTER TEXT:
The enactment of the Continuing Resolution through December 16 was a necessary stopgap measure to allow Congress to come to agreement on full-year omnibus appropriations legislation for Fiscal Year 2023. We thank you for your leadership in averting a funding crisis and urge you to work swiftly to approve a final agreement that provides increases in domestic and international program funding (non-defense discretionary spending, or NDD), no less than those proposed by the House of Representatives for Fiscal Year 2023 and that is unencumbered by poison pill riders. At minimum, the House-proposed NDD levels are required to respond to the level of need and the precarious nature of today’s economy. Creating a separate veterans’ medical services funding category, as proposed in the Biden Administration’s FY 2023 budget, would ensure adequate funding for veterans’ medical care while minimizing competition with other vital NDD programs.
Your constituents are being buffeted by the ongoing consequences of the pandemic, natural disasters, and other international contributors to rising prices and shortages of goods. These affect their health, their access to work and affordable child care, their ability to pay for basic needs, and their children’s education. In 2021, more than 40 percent of people with household income less than $50,000 were paying half or more of their income on rent. Similar proportions now report finding it somewhat or very difficult to pay for their regular household expenses. Food and home energy costs are up and the proportion of people who say their households have gone without food in the previous week has risen more than 40 percent since August, 2021 (from 8.2% to 11.5 percent). Efforts by the Federal Reserve to control inflation are expected to result in more people without jobs. All of this is hitting people with low incomes the hardest: rural, urban, women, children, Black, brown, and Indigenous people, the aging and people with disabilities on fixed incomes. In addition to the moral wrong of ignoring these hardships, if their losses grow, it may trigger or worsen a recession, and that would needlessly threaten our nation’s economic security.
In the face of this, the proposed increases in funding for domestic and international programs make modest but important progress after years of decline, taking inflation into account. These NDD programs lost 4 percent of their value from FY 2010 to FY 2022, counting inflation and population growth. However, if the fast-growing spending on VA medical care is separated out, the rest of NDD programs declined by 10 percent. The Coalition on Human Needs has tracked programs particularly targeted to assist people with low incomes from FY 2010 through FY 2022. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) saw cuts over this period; nearly one-third (31 percent) lost 20 percent or more, taking inflation into account.
Now and into 2023, increased inflation makes it still more urgent that appropriations for domestic and other non-defense programs keep pace with growing costs and growing need. Service providers in the public or private sectors must be able to keep salaries and benefits competitive to maintain an adequate workforce; rising costs for rent and supplies also strain their budgets.
The signers of this letter represent human service providers, faith groups, policy experts, labor, civil rights, disability, and other anti-poverty advocates who see the precarious position of our people nationwide. Reducing funding for domestic and international programs below the House-proposed levels will jeopardize our ability to respond to urgent human needs and will imperil our capacity to help Americans recover from the multiple disasters they have faced or may face in the year ahead. We urge you to see protecting these funding levels as a matter of national security.