Groups begin lobbying on non-defense sequestration cuts

Shutterstock.com
Just about everyone on K Street is ramping up their sequestration and fiscal cliff lobbying efforts, not just those concerned about defense cuts.

Health care lobbyists have already been working the Hill. Now, massive coalitions of labor, religious, small business and social service groups are forming, sending letters and setting up meetings decrying across-the-board cuts while also calling for revenue-raising measures.

The Coalition on Human Needs is one such group, which earlier this week sent a letter to every member on the Hill, which was signed by 1,900 organizations. The letter calls for protecting low-income Americans and decries cuts to the government workforce, education and programs such as Head Start and food stamps. They also push for an expiration of Bush-era tax cuts on American households making more than $250,000 a year, and for some -- but not across-the-board -- cuts to defense spending.

"Putting the most vulnerable people at risk is the wrong response to our nation's fiscal situation," the letter states. "Automatic cuts to domestic programs that are scheduled to take effect in January 2013 under the sequestration provisions of the Budget Control Act will inflict devastating harm."

The Coalition's executive director Deborah Weinstein tells the Alley that groups concerned about non-defense cuts generally understand that a solely piecemeal approach won't be an effective lobbying strategy.

"I think people do get it, that they're not very likely to prevail by saying, 'Save me, and I don't care about anybody else,'" she said. "We need revenues. In the absence of revenues, it's not going to be possible to save services."

Weinstein said they've already been hitting the Hill, and setting up group lobby visits -- mostly on the Senate side for now. But come lame duck, such groups will face an uphill battle to be heard above the fray.

"There is no question that there are very, very powerful forces who want to fight the defense cuts, for instance, and we know we have to work very hard to be heard," she said. "When we've been going into offices, we've been told they've been hearing a lot from military contractors and the like."

While the coalition isn't planning on putting out any ads, it's worth noting that they're not just small social service organizations with shoestring budgets; they've got some heavy-hitter signers, such as the AFL-CIO, too.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.