Archive for May 11th, 2011

11th May
2011
written by naehblog

Today’s post is from Alliance program & policy associate, Amanda Krusemark.

The annual congressional budget and appropriations process can be more than a little confusing – but it’s critically important for advocates like us.

Ending homelessness will require resources from the federal government – so we need to make sure Congress prioritizes homeless assistance for the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget. As you well know, in this climate of economic austerity, that’s easier said than done.

That means we need you to tell your Members of Congress how important ending homelessness is.

Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI) is circulating a letter in the House. The letter asks the House to provide $2.4 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants (the federal government’s largest investment in homelessness). That’s the same amount the President Obama asked for when he delivered his budget proposal to Congress in February.

We need as MANY Representatives as possible to sign onto Representative Moore’s letter by next Friday, May 20.

So we need you to tell them to sign on.

You can use this sample letter and these sample talking points to contact your Representatives and ask them to sign the letter. For more information, you can contact Amanda Krusemark at akrusemark@naeh.org.

The budget process is not always the same each year, but the overall process usually starts like it did this year:

In February, the Administration submitted its recommendations to Congress for the federal budget.

In April, the House passed a bill setting out its “big-picture” framework for the FY 2012 budget, including how large the budget should be. This framework is called a “budget resolution” and it’s non-binding, meaning Congress doesn’t have to stick to it.

Now that the House has a framework, Representatives are asked to submit “programmatic requests” – which are requests for funding levels each Representative wants to see for key federal programs. That’s what’s happening right now.

You, as an advocate, have this time to influence the choices your Members of Congress make by telling them what’s important in your community and why. You can help shape the size and impact of the federal budget!

Make your voice heard today! Call your Member of Congress and urge them to sign onto Rep. Gwen Moore’s letter or to submit their own programmatic request asking for $2.4 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento programs to make substantial progress in preventing and ending homelessness in this country. For more information or guidance, please email Amanda Krusemark.