APHA and nearly 3,000 national, state and local organizations asked Congress on Thursday to avoid further cuts to nondefense discretionary programs, which include public health, education, environmental protection, transportation and law enforcement.
The programs strengthen the safety and security of every American, the letter to Congress states, and have already helped decrease the national deficit. However, the Budget Control Act of 2011 would reduce nondefense discretionary funding by 20 percent from 2010 to 2021, with the final year representing its lowest level of funds in at least 50 years.
Economic recovery will not be achieved through cuts to programs that benefit hundreds of millions of Americans, according to the letter, and such cuts would create fewer teachers in the classroom, job opportunities, food and drug inspectors, and first responders to national emergencies.
“Nondefense discretionary programs support our economy, drive our global competitiveness and provide an environment where all Americans may lead healthy, productive lives. Only a balanced approach to deficit reduction can restore fiscal stability, and [these programs have done their] part. Please work together to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to nondefense discretionary programs,” the letter states.
The letter to Congress can be read online.