Latino Leaders: Don't Push The Hispanic Community Off the Fiscal Cliff
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of the 30 leading Hispanic organizations from across the country, released a letter to Congressional leaders and President Obama warning them of the severe impact that cuts to domestic non-defense programs would have on the Hispanic community. The letter recommends replacing sequestration with targeted increases in revenue and cuts to defense spending, which together would reduce the deficit without stifling the progress of working and middle class families recovering from the Great Recession.
The impact of sequestration on the Hispanic community—and all families striving for the American Dream—would be catastrophic. In education, $1 billion in cuts to Title I funding for schools in need would impact 1.8 million students. Cuts to Head Start and English Language Acquisition State Grants, key investments in our future, would mean 96,179 fewer young children and 350,327 fewer English learners would be served.
Job training through Workforce Investment Act State Grants would be decimated. Over $200 million in cuts would prevent 349,165 adults, 18,611 youth, and 45,770 dislocated workers from acquiring new skills to lift themselves out of the recession. Veterans, who already face unacceptable levels of unemployment, would be impacted by a $12 million cut to the Jobs for Veterans State Grant program. And even programs to reduce the impact of the housing crisis and prevent a future bubble would be cut by more than $1.5 billion with 200,000 fewer families served.
“The Hispanic community was disproportionally affected by the Great Recession, but through resolve and hard work our families have begun to recover. Allowing our nation to careen over the fiscal cliff would halt this progress,” said Hector Sanchez, chair of NHLA. “Job training and housing assistance programs can give struggling Americans the boost they need to prosper in hard times. Most important to our nation’s future, public education, especially for young children, is the path leading families to a brighter future. We can reduce the deficit, but we don't have to do it on the backs of struggling communities.”
The NHLA letter recommends against further cuts to domestic discretionary programs, which have already taken multiple hits in recent years, and against any changes to mandatory programs that would negatively impact lower- and middle-income families. In order to reduce the deficit, NHLA recommends adopting the Simpson-Bowles plan to reduce military spending by $1 trillion over ten years. NHLA also supports allowing the 2001-2003 tax cuts for high incomes and reduced tax rates on estates and capital gains to expire. It would also end tax loopholes for profitable industries.
The full letter can be downloaded here.
Established in 1991, The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) brings together Hispanic leaders to establish policy priorities that address, and raise public awareness of the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole. For more information, please visit www.nationalhispanicleadership.org.