by Alexandra Sange, MPP
In less than two weeks, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (or “Supercommittee”) must produce and pass a proposal that achieves $1.2 trillion in savings over the next ten years. Or that is their goal, per the Budget Control Act passed earlier this year – and it’s starting to look like they could get there soon. Although there are still no concrete details available about what could be in the Super Committee’s agreement, and partisan disagreements continue over the extent to which revenues could be a part of a compromise, we have seen recent signals indicating that members are eager to make a deal in the coming days. One strong indication a deal could come out of this process is that Congressional Leaders from both parties have upped their involvement in the Supercommittee talks, with leaders telegraphing their commitment to Supercommittee success by their November 23rd deadline.
What’s worth noting in all of this is that as advocates our time is RIGHT NOW to influence our decision makers, leaders and elected representatives. With t-minus two weeks and counting on a grand bargain, and leadership involved in high-level discussions about a compromise, we have reached a real decision-making moment in Supercommittee deliberations. This week while the House is back home on recess, members of the Supercommittee and Leadership will be listening to their constituents to determine what might be acceptable to the people they represent. They want to know what the people back home can live with, and what they would oppose. Now is the time for health centers advocates to make the case that any proposal that undermines the health center model of care will not be acceptable in their congressional district.
Stay tuned to the blog for Supercommittee updates as we get into the weeds, but more importantly: take part in our Campaign for America’s Health Centers mobilization this week- signing and delivering petitions to your Representative’s District Office and keep health centers on the Supercommittee members and Leadership’s radars right up until the end.