NAACP Commends Congress and the President for Raising the Debt Ceiling
Urges federal law makers to work hard to ensure budget is fair, just and does not harm the most vulnerable AMERICANS among us
On August 2, 2011, just one week after the NAACP passed a resolution at its annual convention calling on Congress and the President to increase the debt ceiling through 2013, the President signed into law a bill doing just that. The bill also creates a special Joint Select Committee on Budget Deficit Reduction, consisting of 6 members from the U.S. House of Representatives and 6 U.S. Senators, to be divided equally among the two major political parties. This special committee will be charged with developing a plan to reduce our national deficit through a variety of means, and the ability of Congress and the President to raise the debt ceiling in the future will depend greatly on the success of this committee.
Under the deal which established the special budget committee and allowed the debt ceiling to be raised, deficit reduction over the next ten years (through 2021) will be achieved through spending caps, which will result in cuts in federal spending. For the first two years, spending on national security (defense, homeland security) will be separated from other domestic programs; after 2014 defense spending will be open to spending cuts just like any other federal program. The primary job of the new special budget committee will be to develop a plan for deficit reduction beyond 2021 which includes spending cuts, changes to entitlement programs (including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security) and changes to the current tax code.
The NAACP is committed to continue working with Congress to ensure that the mandated federal spending cuts over the next ten years are as surgically targeted as possible, do not increase poverty in America and that the needs of the most vulnerable among us are cared for. Furthermore, we have already begun to call on Congressional leaders to appoint people to the special budget committee who are committed to developing a federal budget which puts people back to work, rebuilds the economy, invests in infrastructure, research and innovation, worker productivity, training and education; eliminates wasteful and unnecessary tax giveaways for the wealthiest Americans and multinational corporations while closing unfair tax loopholes; and does not undermine basic safety nets for low-and-middle-income people including seniors, children, the ill and disabled.
We must now work with Congress and the President to ensure that in light of new spending limits the federal budget is fair, encourages growth, does not increase poverty and ensures a viable safety net for the most vulnerable among us.