Endorse the “American Parity Act” (H.R. 1738)
October 16, 2003
The undersigned organizations endorse the “American Parity Act” (H.R. 1738) sponsored by Reps. Emanuel and DeFazio, and urge you to become a cosponsor. The “American Parity Act” seeks to ensure any additional spending for Iraq’s postwar reconstruction plan is balanced with dollar-for-dollar new investments for America’s own education, health care, transportation, housing, social services, and public safety needs. These additional investments will protect public services, rebuild America’s infrastructure, and ensure resources are available to help the increasing number of unemployed and impoverished Americans. Given the recent increases in the poverty rate, unemployment, and the number of Americans without health insurance, these investments are needed now more than ever.
Unfortunately, in recent years state and local governments have suffered severe budget crises. During the last three years, states have faced a cumulative $200 billion budget gap. State and local budget crises have forced significant cutbacks to public schools and colleges, Medicaid, and many of the same vital public services that this legislation would support. Many social service programs have been forced to restrict their eligibility guidelines and deny previously eligible families needed assistance. These problems persist all across America.
By providing needed financial assistance to America’s communities, the American Parity Act will protect ongoing public services, expand assistance where needed, create new jobs, and help jumpstart the economy. The Act would authorize payments to states and localities for priority expenditures on social services and infrastructure needs in the same amount as the amount appropriated for relief and reconstruction for Iraq. States and localities would invest these funds on a wide variety of priority needs. Local governments would receive at least one-third of the total funding.
All across our nation, America’s children, seniors, and struggling families depend on reliable safety net services. They should not be denied support due to the vagaries of the national and global economy. While protecting America’s troops in Iraq is certainly necessary, America must also take care of our domestic priorities. If Congress can find billions and billions of new funds to rebuild post-war Iraq, we should be able to afford the same amount of new investments to strengthen struggling families here at home.
We urge you to work to fund our nation’s domestic needs and to demonstrate your support by adding your name as a cosponsor to the American Parity Act. Please contact Rep. Emanuel’s Legislative Director, Pete Spiro, at (202) 225-4061. Thank you for your support of this worthy legislation.
Alliance For Retired Americans
American Federation of Government Employees
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
American Federation of Teachers
Americans for Democratic Action
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)
Association of Flight Attendants
Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs
Campaign for America’s Future
Center for Community Change
Church Women United
Committee for Education Funding
Department for Professional Employees (DPE), AFL-CIO
International Association of Fire Fighters
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Coalition for the Homeless
National Education Association
National Low Income Housing Coalition
National Priorities Project
Service Employees International Union
The Arc of the U.S.
The International Primate Protection League
Transport Workers Union
UCP Public Policy Collaboration
Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees, (UNITE)
United Autoworkers (UAW)