WASHINGTON – The chairs of the House and Senate Budget Committees, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray, (D-WA), have announced a budget deal that will set spending levels for the next two years, preempting another government shutdown in January.
The deal will replace mandatory, across-the-board cuts from sequestration with a different set of spending cuts and non-tax revenue.
In a statement to the press, President Obama greeted the agreement as a "good first step" and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said it was "a good day for our country." The deal has the approval of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who released a statement saying, “While modest in scale, this agreement represents a positive step forward by replacing one-time spending cuts with permanent reforms to mandatory spending programs that will produce real, lasting savings.”
The House will act on the deal before they leave for recess on Dec. 13, and then turn it over to the Senate.
With the budget behind them, Congress is expected to now focus on tax reform.
The nationwide Don’t Tax My Credit Union grassroots advocacy campaign continues.
Credit union advocates have already initiated more than one million Capitol Hill lawmaker contacts including letters, emails, toll-free calls and Twitter messages.
Credit unions are demonstrating a willingness to engage their members through social media and other means. A number of credit unions are using their own Web sites to encourage members to get more information about the tax status campaign by going to the Don’t Tax My Credit Union Web site.
Examples of what some credit unions from around the country are doing are available here.
CUNA’s Tax Advocacy Toolkit is available here.
New Jersey has generated nearly 10,000 contacts targeting the Garden State’s 14-member delegation but NJCUL Director of Government Affairs says “it’s not enough.”
“This is a game of numbers, and it’s critical we keep the pressure on,” he said. “We have to continue to generate as many contacts as possible. Ideally, every one of our 3,000-plus volunteers and professionals across the state would take a few minutes to generate additional emails and tweets weekly, if not daily. There’s no reason we can’t double our contacts in the next few weeks,” he continued. “Grassroots fatigue or resting on our laurels is our worst enemy,” he added. “The bankers are out there in force and are not letting up. We need to counter their efforts at every turn,” he concluded.