NCLR Stresses a Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction to Avoid Devastating Fiscal Cliff




December 05 2012


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                    Contact:
December 5, 2012                                   Joseph Rendeiro
                                                                  jrendeiro@nclr.org
                                                                  (202) 776-1566                                       


WASHINGTON, D.C.—In its first major post-election showdown, Congress is back on Capitol Hill to debate how to balance the federal budget and avoid the looming fiscal cliff.  Today, Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR (National Council of La Raza), was joined in a telephonic press briefing by Rep. Xavier Becerra, D–Calif., Jason Furman, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, and Julie Rodriguez, Associate Director of Latino Affairs and Immigration for the White House Office of Public Engagement, for a discussion on how to address the country’s budget challenges with a balanced approach that protects vital programs for Latinos, which could be potentially gutted by automatic cuts.

“Jobs and the economy continue to be the top priority for the Hispanic community, which came out to vote in record numbers in November, and the potential consequences of the looming fiscal cliff are of great concern to Latinos,” Murguía said.  “In fact, an election eve poll by Latino Decisions/impreMedia showed that Latinos support a fair, balanced and shared approach to deficit reduction.  We need to protect the most vulnerable among us in this process.  This is also not the time to raise taxes on working and middle-class families.”

Failing to negotiate an agreement on deficit reduction will have dire consequences for all Americans, potentially derailing our fledgling economic recovery and suppressing job growth.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) calculated that the “fiscal cliff”—the combination of tax increases and deep budget cuts that will automatically take place at the beginning of the New Year—would return the unemployment rate to more than 9 percent nationally.  Latinos face an unemployment rate of 10 percent and cannot afford reckless actions that threaten to drag our economy back into recession.

NCLR is also extremely concerned that a poorly crafted budget deal could gut the nonprofit infrastructure that serves and supports much of our community.  NCLR Affiliates provide fundamental services that educate, feed and treat our children, train our workers, open the doors to homeownership, stave off foreclosure and secure other human services.  We have witnessed the serious impact of past major budget cuts, such as during the Reagan administration and 1996’s welfare reform, on our Affiliates, and we fear that many may once again have to abruptly end programs or close their doors altogether.

“Balancing the budget on the backs of poor, working and middle-class families will only succeed in broadening the opportunity and achievement gaps that exist for many communities, including the Hispanic community, in this country,” Murguía added.  “Enacting severe austerity measures, especially while our fragile economy is still recovering, will erode economic mobility and keep our community from reaching its full potential.  We must work together to advance a fair economy where sacrifice is shared and prosperity is available to all.”

If you are interested in receiving a recording of today’s telephonic press conference, please email Joseph Rendeiro at jrendeiro@nclr.org.

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Latinos.  For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Issues: Economy and Workforce, Policy, Federal Budget, Federal-Level Advocacy
Geography:California, Far West, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, Texas