Sign-on Letter to New York City’s Congressional Delegation
Reverse Course in FY 2020 Budget Deal
Letter to New York City’s Congressional Delegation
The following letter was prepared by the the Federal Tax and Budget Response Team – a state-based coalition whose members include FPWA, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York, UJA-Federation of New York, Fiscal Policy Institute, New York Housing Conference, LiveOn NY, Human Services Council of New York, United Neighborhood Houses, and more.
Dear New York City-Area Representative/Senator:
The undersigned New York City-based organizations strongly urge congressional leaders tofollow the priorities established by the recently-passed House appropriations bills during the mark-up process that follows Monday’s budget agreement. The House budget meaningfully invests in critical services such as education, housing, nutrition, child care, an accurate census, and more.
At a time when 40 percent of New York City residents are already unable to afford a basic standard of living, a budget agreement that increases support for woefully underfunded programs is desperately needed to strengthen effective poverty fighting tools, support the needs of the City’s children, older adults, families, people with disabilities, and workforce, and expand access to housing and child care. When properly funded, these services strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers.
Regrettably, federal funding to support these services in New York City has fallen by more than $300 million since FY 2010 due in large part to the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA), which set caps on defense and nondefense discretionary funding through 2021 and further reduced funding over time through across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration. This disinvestment has real life consequences. Federal grants are often passed through from City agencies to nonprofit human-service providers to support the needs of their communities and attract and retain qualified staff.
Following a full decade of disinvestment, two starkly contrasting visions have emerged for the next.
President Trump’s FY 2020 budget extends the economic pain that has endured throughout this decade into 2020. FPWA’s analysis of Trump’s proposal finds that a handful of the City’s social service agencies featured in its recently-launched Federal Funds Tracker – which received 78 percent of all social services funding in FY 2018 – would experience a painful 16 percent cut (nearly a half billion dollars) to their total federal revenue. In addition to a broad swath of deep cuts, Trump’s budget would eliminate entirely the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG), and the Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), and others.
In contrast, the House would increase LIHEAP by 4 percent, CSBG by 5 percent, CDBG by 9 percent, SSBG by 0.3 percent, and HOME by 40 percent.
Collectively, the House plan would raise total discretionary funding $51 billion above the level enacted for 2019 and $176 billion above the BCA caps. This increase would begin to restore lost funding for programs for children, job training, health care, and medical research and increase funding for the Census Bureau to conduct the 2020 Decennial Census.
Restoring funding to critical programs to make up for a decade of austere budgets will not be enough to tackle decades of stagnant wages and the nation’s affordable housing crisis. On the other side of the ledger, policymakers should fix our tax laws to help working people with low-wage jobs to support themselves and their families by passing the Working Families Tax Relief Act and increase investments in affordable housing by passing the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019.
The undersigned organizations represent human service providers, faith organizations, and policy experts. We call on Congress to chart a new vision for the new decade in the FY 2020 budget by providing meaningful support for critical programs, such as in the House appropriations bill, and advance critical tax policy to support meaningful improvements in affordable housing and economic security for working families.
- Banana Kelly CIA Inc
- Calvary Fellowship AME Church
- Center for Children’s Initiatives
- Chinese-American Planning Council
- Council on Human Needs
- Crossroads Community Services, Inc.
- Day Care Council of New York
- Dewitt Reformed Church
- East Side House Settlement
- ECE on the Move
- First Bloom Group Family Day Care
- Fiscal Policy Institute
- Fresh Start Day care
- FRIENDLY HANDS MINISTRY INC
- Grand Street Settlement, Inc.
- Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition
- Henry Street Settlement
- InterAgency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies Inc.
- Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement
- Lidia’s day care
- Nazareth Housing
- New York Disaster Interfaith Services
- PWN-NYC Chapter
- Samaritan Daytop Village
- Schenectady Inner City Ministry
- Sheltering Arms
- The Door
- Treatment Action Group
- Union Baptist Church Community Feeding Program
- United Neighborhood Houses
- Urban Pathways, Inc.
- Vision Urbana, Inc.
- Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation
- Youth Action Programs and Homes, Inc.