Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
WASHINGTON – Even before the debt deal was signed Tuesday in Washington, U.S. Jewish groups and recipients of government largesse were asking the same question: Who’s going to get cut?
It’s still too early to say. But the new “super committee” created to hash out the details of $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion in spending cuts by the end of the year, and the arguments that surely will arise from the committee’s work, will provide the clearest sign yet of which government grants or programs are on the chopping block.
In the Jewish community, the areas of concern range from funding for elderly care to environmental issues to democracy promotion overseas. Federal funding makes up a significant chunk of the budgets of many of the groups that operate in those fields.
Joyce Garver Keller, the executive director of Ohio Jewish Communities, which lobbies state lawmakers for Ohio’s Jewish federations, said Ohio Jewish service providers already are reeling from cuts mandated last month in the state budget. That included up to 14 percent in cuts for nursing homes and 3 percent cuts for home- and community-based providers.
The largest Jewish facility for the elderly in the state, in the Cleveland area, already is dealing with $2 million in cuts on the state level even without any cuts at the federal level.
Keller said the homes for the elderly were examining solutions including freezing salaries and retirement benefits for staff, and cutting back on utilities such as electricity. Others are considering opening up in-house medical practices to outsiders to create revenue.
The National Council for Jewish Women expressed concern particularly about cuts that could affect women and children.
“The deal does require deep cuts in government spending, cuts that will likely affect Head Start, K-12 education, Title X family planning, job training, domestic violence prevention, meals on wheels and other services for vulnerable people,” NCJW said in a statement.
Mark Olshan, the associate executive vice president for B’nai B’rith International, which runs 38 homes for the elderly across the country, said federal cuts would burden a system coping with a growing number of retirement-age baby boomers.
“The reality is we’re probably not going to be building a lot more buildings, but there will be more people who need these kinds of programs,” he said.
Jewish groups are also closely watching cuts in areas where they do not receive direct assistance. Jason Isaacson, the director of governmental and international affairs for the American Jewish Committee, anticipated cuts in programs promoting energy alternatives and democracy overseas.
Isaacson said cuts in democracy promotion would be especially unfortunate just as reform was sweeping the Arab world, noting the upcoming elections in Tunisia in October as an example.
“We need to lower the deficit, but we have big opportunities and responsibilities around the world,” Isaacson said.
The key to preserving funding is to intensify lobbying between now and when the new super committee votes in November on proposed cuts, said William Daroff, the Washington director of the Jewish Federations for North America.
“We will be lobbying heavily to ensure that the $550 billion in immediate discretionary domestic cuts do not come from the programs that fund key Jewish federation services to the vulnerable,” Daroff said. “No decisions have been made yet on the Hill as to where those cuts will come from.”
Under the deal struck over the weekend and passed by both houses of Congress – in the House of Representatives on Monday and the Senate the next day – about half the cuts are to come from the defense sector and the other half from domestic programs, with some cuts designated for foreign assistance.
Funding for Israel is one of the few exemptions; it remains at $3 billion a year.
If the committee cannot reach an agreement – or if Congress rejects its recommendations – it will trigger automatic across-the-board cuts of at least $1.2 trillion.
Nervousness persists over whether major entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – which respectively cover medical assistance for the elderly and poor – will be on the chopping block.
They are mostly spared for now and, according to the agreement, will be spared again, paradoxically, if the committee defaults on its mission and fails to reach an agreement. The programs could face cuts, however, should the committee recommend them.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
A woman and three girls miraculously escaped an Arab lynch mob on Thursday afternoon while driving through the Jerusalem A-Tur neighborhood on the Mount of Olives.
The subtext in an Obama and Netanyahu press conference continues to be a disagreement over the role of Iran.
“How then, can anyone say that, the practice of Islam is protected by the U.S. Constitution?”
Israel’s President Ruby Rivlin recites Slichot, the prayers for forgiveness that are said leading up to Yom Kippur. This slichot prayer session was held at the President’s official residence. Speaking of presidential pardons, it would be good if this were the year that Jonathan Pollard was let free.
American university campuses have become fertile ground for seeds of evil.
Letter of protest charges SJP with “harassing and intimidating Jewish students.”
Biden’s new national security adviser dissed Israel in the Democratic party platform and mocks Iran’s danger.
PA leader Abbas demands UN force Israel back to 1949 Armistice Line by Nov. 2016.
Car fires are car fires,” said the Atlantic City fire chief. But the car was parked!
US admits its ‘no-strike if any civilians might be hit’ policy does not apply to its airstrikes against ISIS.
Israeli police revealed on September 30 that they are now investigating the possibility that a fellow Arab worker may have cut the cable that held Arami as he was doing exterior work on a building.
A 14-year-old Dutch Muslim high school student is suspended after posting a video saying he is “from ISIS” and wants to “behead Jews.”
PM Netanyahu and US Pres. Obama met Wednesday evening for 75 minutes at the White House in Washington DC.
It’s not yet clear if Nemmouche was acting on orders and, if so, whether the orders came from ISIS.
President Obama in an April 25 press conference seemed ready to take a break. “There may come a point at which there just needs to be a pause and both sides need to look at the alternatives,” he said.
Obama himself suggested that a break from the process may be necessary.
But Israel’s stance is not sufficiently consequential to set off a fight between friends, neoconservative scholars said.
Tensions between Russia and the West are mounting over the Russian military takeover of the Crimean Peninsula, with the United States and European countries threatening to impose sanctions.
Expansive outreach, of course, is nothing new for AIPAC. But in the wake of battles over Iran sanctions legislation that pitted the pro-Israel lobbying powerhouse against the White House, many congressional Democrats and liberals more generally, AIPAC’s traditional emphasis on Israel as a bipartisan issue has taken on added urgency.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/global/jewish-groups-grapple-with-expected-cuts-in-funding/2011/08/03/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: