Yesterday, the House tried to over-ride the President’s veto of the FY 2008 L-HHS-ED bill and it FAILED. The vote was 277-141. 226 Democrats and 51 Republicans voted for the over-ride. On the other hand, 141 Republicans voted against the over-ride. The final vote could have been closer because there were 15 members who did not vote! Roll call vote information below.
The word now is that the Democrats are backing down and planning on splitting the difference with the President’s budget request. This puts funding of domestic programs – health, education, disability – in a “worst case scenario”.
The network needs to send the message that our programs cannot maintain the high rate of advocacy on behalf of children and adults with disabilities and their families without an increase in funding. The increases in the bill are EXTREMELY MODEST – but would make a big difference for the programs that were destined to receive them.
During the Thanksgiving Recess, we strongly urge you to:
1. Call and thank your Representatives that voted for the veto override by explaining how the additional funds would have made a huge difference in the lives of their constituents with disabilities.
2. Call and express disappointment in those Representatives that voted to support the President’s veto by explaining how their constituents with disabilities are negatively impacted by the rejection of these desperately needed additional funds.
3. Call Representatives and Senators from your home state that sit on the Appropriations Committee and explain the need for the important appropriations increases for the P&A programs in the Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations bill to be maintained. As much as possible use state specific facts on the impact these additional funds would have, or the negative impact not receiving these increases would have.
To figure out if you have a Representative or Senator on the Appropriations Committee, you can follow the following links:
House - http://appropriations.house.gov/members110th.shtml
Senate - http://appropriations.senate.gov/members.cfm
When making the calls, you can always call the Capitol Operator (202-224-3121) and ask to be transferred to a specific office.
Representatives and Senators need to hear from you on the impact these funds will have as these decisions are being made over the Thanksgiving Recess and very shortly afterwards. Others will be calling to help their programs, and if the appropriators don’t hear from the P&A system, we may not be able to save the great increases we received. So, take a little time and call.