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Letter to the House Opposing Sequestration Bill

September 13, 2012

Dear Representative: 

On behalf of the more than three million members of the National Education Association (NEA), we strongly urge you to VOTE NO on the National Security and Job Protection Act (H.R. 6365), scheduled for floor debate today.  This dangerous legislation would replace the sequester, but would do so by imposing dramatically deeper cuts to education and all other nondefense discretionary programs. Votes associated with this issue may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 112th Congress. 

NEA strongly opposes the approach to sequestration and deficit reduction represented by H.R. 6365 and the FY 2013 Budget Resolution.  We cannot and should not seek to reduce the deficit by continuing to slash education and other non-defense discretionary programs.  These programs, which provide the long-term investments that spur economic growth, have borne the entire brunt of deficit reduction.  Non-defense discretionary funding accounts for just 14 percent of all federal spending.  It is not a driver of long-term debt.  Yet, these programs have already sustained more than $1 trillion in cuts under the Budget Control Act.   

Even without the additional cuts that would result from H.R. 6365, the sequester cuts to education would dramatically impact 9.35 million students by eliminating services, cutting financial aid and increasing class sizes.  As many as 80,500 jobs could be lost in early education, K-12 and postsecondary education.  The further cuts necessitated by H.R. 6365 would decimate education, hurting millions of students and irreparably damaging our nation’s economic recovery and future competitiveness.   

We strongly urge Congress to take a balanced approach to deficit reduction — one that asks those most able to do so to pay their fair share.  We must ask the top two percent of earners to contribute toward economic recovery and deficit reduction, by allowing tax cuts for these high earners to expire.  Children, the middle class, seniors, and other vulnerable populations cannot be expected to bear the brunt of deficit reduction, while the wealthy avoid paying their fair share.   

Again, we urge you to VOTE NO on H.R. 6365 and to work together to find a balanced, fair approach to deficit reduction. 

Sincerely, 

Mary Kusler
Director of Government Relations