The Senate Republicans' budget resolution for next year proposes DEEP cuts to the federal budget, to the tune of $5 trillion over 10 years. These cuts target Medicaid, Medicare, and a myriad of other programs that constitute the "social safety net". The cuts will be used to offset tax cuts, predominately for the wealthy.
If the $5 trillion in proposed cuts are proportionally divided among current spending levels, then Medicaid and Medicare could see cuts of $1 trillion and $473 billion, respectively.
Under normal Senate procedure, this sort of radical change would face stiff opposition, due to the 60-vote threshold usually required to pass a budget (meaning, 8 Democrats would have to join all 52 Republicans). However, Senate Republicans are using the 50-vote "budget reconciliation" procedure to move the vote forward. (Sound familiar?)
Not only do these massive budget cuts break with Trump's campaign promise to protect Medicare, but pairing them with tax reform also makes clear that it will serve as an egregious transfer of wealth to those who need it least: corporations, and the richest 1% of Americans.
For what it's worth, budget resolutions don't have the force of law behind them; so if this passes, it won't go to Trump for his signature. They're more a statement of principle, to guide the eventual crafting of the detailed, line-by-line budget. This doesn't mean we should ignore the budget resolution, however. It's imperative that we let Congress know that we will not stand for cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or the social safety net.
WHO TO CALL:
Senators Kennedy and Cassidy
Senator Bill Cassidy - DC Office: (202) 224-5824; Metairie office: (504) 838-0130; Monroe Office: (318) 324-2111; Lake Charles Office: (337) 493-5398; Alexandria Office: (318) 448-7176
Senator John Kennedy - DC office: (202) 224-4623; New Orleans Office: (504) 581-6190; Lafayette Office: (337) 269-5980; Monroe Office: (318) 361-1489; Alexandria Office: (318) 445-2892; Baton Rouge Office: (225) 926-8033; Shreveport Office: (318) 670-5192
Reminders: Identify where you're calling from (town and zip code is fine) so they know you're an actual constituent. Be concise – the office will get through more calls that way. Be polite and don't argue with the staffer – they don't set policy. If you get a voicemail, then leave a message. And if you get a busy signal – call back later!
Hi, my name is [Your Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].
I'm calling to urge the Senator to vigorously oppose the deep federal spending cuts to Medicaid and Medicare in the 2018 budget resolution. The elderly and low-income families should not have to give up their access to health care in order to fund a tax cut for the ultra-wealthy.
Thank you for your time and your hard work answering the phones. Stay safe out there.
This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.