APA works in coalitions to encourage Congress and the president not to rely solely on spending cuts to reach deficit reduction targets.
We’ve all been reading about the occasionally optimistic, but usually pessimistic, predictions of whether Congress and the President will be able to design a package of deficit reductions that can pass both Houses of Congress and be signed by the President. Negotiations have taken place in a difficult context: Congress must pass legislation to increase the debt limit prior to August 2, 2011. APA members weighed in along with many others before H.R. 1, the Ryan budget, was brought to the floor. But recently, in the absence of a concrete proposal, it hasn’t been easy to bring grassroots pressure to bear on the discussions. Conservatives are trying to encourage Republicans to hold the line against any tax increases, including those that would close loopholes that benefit narrow classes of wealthy taxpayers. The previous entry of this budget blog mentions Cut, Cap and Balance, a campaign to demonstrate support for bigger cuts and a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.
APA and its fellow scientific and health advocacy organizations have also been working hard on this issue in coalitions, to magnify the strength in our numbers and unity of purpose. Below is a letter to the President, with copies to Congressional leaders, from the Coalition for Health Funding, a coalition that supports the agencies of the Public Health Service (NIH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, etc.) APA is an active member of this coalition. This letter is an example of the ways APA and other groups are seeking to demonstrate support for a balanced deficit reduction proposal that does not rely solely on spending cuts.