Top #5Actions of the Past Week: Friday, September 22, 2023
Unless Congress takes immediate action, when the clock strikes midnight on October 1st the government will shutdown. Let’s be clear: House Republicans have created this totally manufactured, preventable crisis that will hurt our families, workers (especially military and government workers), children, and our economy. Government shutdowns are a total failure of governance and because Republicans in the House of Representatives are choosing partisan antics and extremism over doing their job, we are 8 days away from that failure.
All hope is not lost! Scroll down this email to find #5Actions you can take right now to help avert disaster.
Here is what’s going on: While the Senate is working in a bipartisan manner to pass a spending bill needed to fund everything from Head Start for low-income students to paying our troops on the front lines , House Republicans continue to practice chaos politics. House Republicans have put forth purely partisan spending bills that slash funding for programs our families need to build a good life and that our economy needs to grow –everything from nutrition assistance like WIC, to child care assistance, to funding for the IRS to collect taxes from the rich and powerful. To make matters worse every…single…bill…House Republicans have passed includes harmful anti-abortion, anti-education, anti-LGBTQ+, anti-environment language such as making abortion illegal nationally, slashing climate crisis funding, and opening up discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. 
This isn’t just a political fight. At risk is losing the funding of programs that grow the economy, raise incomes and cut costs for families, including health care, child care, maternal and mental health, job training, and environmental safety programs.
Not to mention if the House Republicans keep this up and fail to pass a budget by the end of the month the U.S. government will shut down, leading to far more suffering, chaos, and national negative economic repercussions. Republicans themselves are even recognizing how ridiculous this scenario is: Rep. Steve Womack, a Republican from Arkansas, said “It’s an unmitigated disaster right now on the majority side. I’m fearful of what this leads to.”  Yikes!
It gets worse (and this is why your voice is extra needed right now)! Layered on top of this budget crisis is a looming child care cliff. Here’s the situation: Despite a continued child care crisis; the COVID-era funding that helped save families and child care workers during a critical time expires at the end of the month-- and without continued investment, child care providers, families, businesses, and our economy are headed toward a giant cliff. 
All that said, now is the perfect time to use your voice to speak out! So we’ve created a special #5Actions for you so you can take action during this critical time and make sure programs like WIC, K-12 education, and child care are funded, protected, and passed immediately and that poison pills, like anti-immigrant policies, are kept out of the federal budget.
QUICK SIGNATURE: Tell Congress to fund kids and families in the FY24 Budget!
While the Senate is working in a bipartisan manner to pass a spending bill needed to fund everything from Head Start for low-income students to paying our troops on the front lines, House Republicans continue to practice chaos politics. House Republicans have put forth purely partisan spending bills that slash funding for programs our families need to build a good life and that our economy needs to grow–everything from nutrition assistance like WIC, to child care assistance to funding for the IRS to collect taxes from the rich and powerful.
We need our elected leaders to pass a budget that lifts our families and children and we need them to do it immediately!
SIGN OUR LETTER now! Let your elected leaders know that you are paying attention and you expect them to pass a budget that reflects the priorities of America’s families, not just big businesses and the mega wealthy.
Call your Senators and tell them to protect WIC!
Unless Congress takes action in the coming weeks to fully fund WIC, the vital program will be facing a massive emergency resulting in wait lists or cuts to the program for pregnant women, infants, toddlers, and postpartum moms. We need to speak out now!!
You can use our special call-in line to quickly call your Senators and tell them to fully fund WIC. It’s super easy—once you put in your info you’ll receive a phone call linking you directly to your Senator’s office. We even provide you with talking points–easy right!?
Children need Care, not Cliffs. Sign Now!
Right now, Congress is pushing us closer and closer to a fiscal cliff with cuts that would cause millions of families to lose access to child care.
The dual forces of an already-crumbling child care system from chronic underfunding and a global pandemic have thrust child care further into a state of crisis. Congress took the bold and necessary steps to invest critical funds to stabilize the child care market which saved our system from total collapse during the height of the pandemic. But those funds expire this month - and without continued investment, child care providers, families, and our economy are headed toward a giant cliff.
All told, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) stabilization dollars that saved the child care sector from collapse are expiring with projections that 3.2 million children could lose their child care as a result.
But help is on the way! The Child Care Stabilization Act was introduced today to provide at least $16 billion per year in emergency child care dollars to address this, while laying the groundwork for the sustained and transformative funding needed to ensure high-quality, affordable child care is accessible for all families.
No cuts to schools
A bill in the Republican-led U.S. House Appropriations Committee would cut federal funding for Title I schools by 80%. This bill would reduce education funding more deeply and drastically than ever before. Title I schools are critical to reducing poverty and reducing achievement gaps. Schools in which children from low-income families make up at least 40% of enrollment are eligible to use Title I funds to operate schoolwide programs that serve all children in the school in order to raise the achievement of the lowest-achieving students.
A decision like this would devastate our students and schools – at the same time that schools are facing harmful book bans, censorship, harm, and toxic political calls for inaccurate curriculum.
This funding helps fill in gaps for schools that have been historically underfunded for generations—schools in predominantly Black, brown, and rural areas. In fact, 53% of students nationwide benefit from the enhanced support and smaller class sizes Title I provides.
* After you take action, please join our fun initiative to make a handwritten thank you note to a teacher! Once you sign, we'll share the details on how you can participate and by writing and delivering a note, and posting a picture of your thank you note on social media with #ThankYouTeachers.
SIGN ON! Help Protect Immigrants and Stop Attacks in Budget Talks!
While talks continue to reach an agreement in the U.S. Congress to pass a spending bill by the end of the year, extremist members of Congress are taking advantage of this moment to include dangerous immigration items.
Right now, immigrants are under attack at the border and across the nation. The inclusion of HR2 in the spending bill would put countless families in danger, detain and deport immigrant children, jail and deport any immigrant that overstayed a visa, continue building Trump's border wall, and mandate E-verify which would cripple employers and our economy!
Moms especially know how important our immigrant community members are in keeping our families and kids healthy. Immigrants make up 17% of the nation's healthcare workers, 18% of childcare workers, 38% of home health aides and 12% of the education workforce – caregivers in every sense of the word!
There are real ways to help and protect immigrants right now! First, we cannot allow the inclusion of HR2 in the FY 2024 spending bill. Next, Congress can support legislation that protects immigrant families, improves access to healthcare, and supports pathways to citizenship.