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NAHMA Grassroots Action Alert: Ask your Elected Officials to End Sequestration

NAHMA’s top priority for the ongoing Budget Conference Committee is to see an end to the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration. This Budget Conference Committee’s goal is to resolve the differences between the House and Senate budget blueprints so that the necessary appropriations bills to fund the federal government may be passed before the current continuing resolution (CR) ends on January 15, 2014. The Committee has set a deadline of December 13, 2013 to finalize negotiations, so the timing is urgent.

If your Representative or one of your Senators is a member of the Budget Conference Committee, NAHMA is strongly urging you to call their office and voice your support for ending sequestration in the FY 2014 budget. Please use NAHMA Maps to find your specific representative’s/Senator’s contact information.  If you do not live in the district or state of any of these lawmakers, you can still participate by calling your Representative and Senators to ask them to tell the Budget Conference Committee members to end sequestration.

When voicing your stance to the lawmakers office, NAHMA requests that you make these direct asks:

· Congress must replace sequestration with a pragmatic and responsible solution to deficit reduction.

· At the very least, affordable multifamily housing programs should be exempt from sequestration.

Feel free to use these talking points and your own experiences to explain why sequestration should be replaced:

· The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that eliminating the sequester could add 900,000 jobs to the U.S. economy in 2014.

· The direct impact of sequestration and insufficient funding on affordable housing properties in 2013:

1. The effects of short-funding Project-based Section 8 contracts.

2. Insufficient funding for Rural Rental Assistance (USDA’s Rural Development, Section 521 RA).

3. The effect on employees and any planed renovations/critical repairs to the property (remember to address how this will harm your local economy).

4. The impacts that will be felt by seniors, disabled individuals, and families with children under additional sequester cuts.

· Unpredictable or insufficient funding in 2014 could lead to further harm to Project-based Section 8 and Section 521 (rural) Rental Assistance properties.

· Another round of sequestration could result in low-income families losing Housing Choice Voucher assistance in 2014.

Below is a list of the 29 Congressional members involved in the talks:

House Republicans:
Chairman Paul Ryan (WI-1st)
Rep. Tom Cole (OK-4th)
Rep. Tom Price (GA-6th)
Rep. Diane Black (TN-6th)

House Democrats:
Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (MD-8th)

Rep. James Clyburn (SC-6th)
Rep. Nita Lowey (NY-17th)

Senate Republicans:
Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (AL)
Sen. Charles Grassley (IA)
Sen. Mike Enzi (WY)
Sen. Mike Crapo (ID)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC)
Sen. Rob Portman (OH)
Sen. Pat Toomey (PA)
Sen. Ron Johnson (WI)
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (NH)
Sen. Roger Wicker (MS)

Senate Democrats:

Chairwoman Patty Murray (WA)
Sen. Ron Wyden (OR)
Sen. Bill Nelson (FL)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
Sen. Mark Warner (VA)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (OR)
Sen. Chris Coons (DE)
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (WI)
Sen. Tim Kaine (VA)
Sen. Angus King (ME)

Again, please use NAHMA Maps to find your specific representative’s/Senator’s contact information. If you do not live in one of these districts/states, NAHMA Maps can help you get in touch with other members from the Committee. Please contact NAHMA staff if you need assistance in locating these representatives/Senators or if you would like additional information before you make contact.

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