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Women's, retiree groups ask voters to take sequester remedy action on Dec. 12

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On December 12, several prominent community advocacy organizations, including the National Women’s Law Center, the Alliance for Retired Americans, the National Disability Rights Network, 9to5, the AFL-CIO and Americans for Tax Fairness, are asking voters to take action across this nation and contact their elected officials in Washington, D.C. The request to our representatives is to tell them to address the next round of expected 2014 federal sequester cuts. First started this past March, the sequester cuts are, some say, ham-handed, across-the-board cuts to federal spending and hit Latinos and women the hardest.

There is little debate that the effects of the sequestration cuts are not good for the country, adversely impacting everything from Head Start programs for low-income children to health care research. Due to sequestration cuts, the National Institutes of Health has been forced to cut $1.75 billion from its budget, for example.

According to the National Women’s Law Center today,

“Congress can fix this! Closing tax loopholes will raise the revenue needed to end the sequester and protect programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid from the chopping block. That’s why we’re joining forces with other organizations to tell Congress to end the sequester and close corporate tax loopholes.”

One of the organizations leading the charge for the Day of Action this month is Americans for Tax Fairness. The group is a diverse coalition of more than 325 national and state organizations that collectively represent millions of members. Founders started the organization believing that “the country needs comprehensive, progressive tax reform that results in greater revenue to meet our growing needs."

The Sequester Delay and Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act of 2014

Americans for Tax Fairness, along with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and the Financial Accountability & Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition this week released a letter signed by 42 organizations calling on members of the U.S. House of Representatives to co-sponsor the Sequester Delay and Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, which was introduced today by Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX).

According to its press release, Americans for Tax Fairness explains,

“The bill would solve the single most pressing issue in Congress by fully eliminating the automatic discretionary spending cuts known as the sequester for 2014 and 2015 and reduce the cuts by $38.6 billion in 2016.

"In order to achieve this goal, the legislation would raise $220 billion over 10 years by closing numerous tax loopholes that encourage U.S. corporations to move jobs, profits and operations offshore and avoid paying their fair share of taxes. In some years large, profitable corporations have used offshore tax loopholes to avoid paying any federal income taxes at all.

"By eliminating the sequester cuts, the legislation would prevent further weakening of government services that have sustained American families during the prolonged economic downturn. While American corporations book record profits and many of them hide profits offshore, American families still struggle in an economy with weak job growth. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that if the sequester is allowed to go into effect it would cost an additional 800,000 jobs. The legislation announced today would help prevent job loss and would stimulate the economy.”

The December 12 Day of Action is an opportunity, according to these women's and other groups to stand up for women and families by closing tax loopholes to raise the revenue needed to end the sequester and protect programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid from cuts.

Federal Times talks to the sequester and the impending FBI cutbacks

Sean Reilly writes in the Federal Times on Dec. 1, 2013, in the article titled, “Sequester in 2014 will be worse, report warns,”

“When the first round of sequester-related budget cuts hit in March, agencies sought help from Congress, juggled funds and resorted to bookkeeping gimmicks to cushion the impact.

"Those options will be harder to come by if a second round of sequester cuts strikes early next year, a liberal-leaning think tank warns in a new report. Agencies implemented the fiscal 2013 sequester on the assumption that it was 'a short-term glitch' that Congress would soon fix, the Center for American Progress analysis said.

"But if annual sequesters become the new normal, 'all of those quick fixes will have only made things worse for the American people,' the report added.

"In fiscal 2013, for example, Congress let the Justice Department apply more than $300 million in expired funds toward its share of the sequester, even though that money couldn’t be spent anyway, the analysis said. That won’t be possible this time around.

"At the FBI, all employees could be furloughed for somewhere between 10 and 15 days, Reynaldo Tariche, president of the FBI Agents Association, said in an interview last week citing information from bureau management."

To get more information about one campaign sponsored by the National Women’s Law Center to encourage Americans to tell the members of the U.S. House of Representatives to stop the sequestration measures, visit the Thunderclap or the Center’s websites. No matter what your political affiliation, consider joining the online Federal Budget Day of Action on December 12 to let your elected officials know your opinion. Do lobbyists already run America? I would say no. Civic engagement on the part of ordinary people this Thursday is essential and will make a difference.

“Lobbyists now run America, own America, rule America. Forget the 537 politicians you thought we elected to the White House, Senate and Congress to run America for us. No, they're mere puppets, pawns for the "Happy Conspiracy," an oligopoly, plutocracy, cabal, monopoly all-in-one -- a private club of America's richest few on Wall Street, in Washington and in Corporate America.” – Paul Farrell of The Wall Street Journal’s Marketwatch.com, Sept. 9, 2009

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