When Congress and the Administration reached a deal earlier this summer to raise the debt ceiling they cut nearly $1 trillion in discretionary spending over ten years – cuts that will cost women more jobs and access to important public services. They also created a bipartisan “super-committee” which is charged with developing a plan to cut an additional $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction over ten years.
Despite the huge importance of the super-committee’s task, we don’t know much about how it will work. We don’t know when, or how often, its members will meet. We don’t know if its meetings will be open to the public. But we do know that if seven members agree on a plan, that plan will be put on a fast track to an up-or-down vote: no filibusters, no amendments.
And we know that the programs that protect women and their families could face serious cuts. The super-committee can propose cuts to any and all programs – including programs that are critical to women’s economic security – such as Social Security, Medicaid, and Child Care. To help you make the case for why any plan for deficit reduction must protect programs vital to the wellbeing of women and families; make millionaires and corporations pay their fair share; and promote job growth, ensuring lower deficits and a stronger economy in the long term, check out our new state-specific fact sheets.
The super-committee must report on its plan by November 23, and Congress must vote on a proposal from the super-committee by December 23. But whatever happens with the super-committee, that won’t be the end of the fight to protect women’s economic security. We can expect continuing fights over whether to strengthen or shred the safety net; whether to invest in jobs for women and men – or make cuts that eliminate them; whether to start making millionaires and corporations pay their fair share of taxes – or extend and expand their lavish tax breaks.
Women have a lot at stake – and we’ll have to continue to make our voices heard. Start by telling your members of Congress to urge the super-committee to support a fair and responsible deficit reduction plan.
This blog is part of the #HERvotes blog carnival.