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Action Alert: Bush push to pass welfare bill without debate

by National Campaign for Jobs & Income Support Friday, Feb. 07, 2003 at 12:13 AM


BACKGROUND: We expect the full House to debate and vote on the Republican welfare reform bill (H.R. 4) as early as next Wednesday, February 11, 2003. House Republicans plan to quickly pass last year's failed Bush plan without a single hearing or input from the two key committees of jurisdiction, the House Ways and Means Committee and Education and Workforce Committee.

Last year's bill, the so-called "Personal Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act of 2002" would encourage massive workfare programs, make-work programs that do nothing to help people move into real jobs that pay family-supporting wages. The bill does nothing for legal immigrants, nothing to help prepare people for the work force, and nothing to help people obtain education and training to get out of poverty. In fact the bill actually reduces the education and training now available to struggling parents.

The National Governors Association and the National Council of State Legislators, and well as other major stakeholders, never endorsed Bush's failed plan because it leaps in the wrong direction, undermining everything we have learned about moving families out of poverty. Similarly, Senate Republicans and Democrats have expresses serious reservations about the Bush plan for what it would mean for their states during economic recession, rising unemployment, and state budget crises.

ACTION NEEDED: We must ensure that all Democrats vote NO on final passage! Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121 and ask for your member of Congress and deliver the following message:

"I am calling to ask Representative (name) to vote NO on the Republican welfare reform bill, H.R 4. The Republican bill is wrong for (your state) and for poor families everywhere. The Republican bill imposes a one-size-fits-all program that undercuts everything we know and gained in the past 5 years. Vote NO on Final Passage. This is a critical vote for low-income families."

KEY TARGETS: MODERATES AND NEW HOUSE MEMBERS. Last year, only 14 Democrats voted in favor of the Republican welfare bill. Our goal is to unite all Democrats against the Republican bill by voting NO on Final Passage and try to move some moderate Republicans to also vote against the bill.

If your House Representative is listed below, call them once, twice, three times and deliver the message to vote NO on final passage. If you are from the same state as any of the Representatives listed below, call them as well and deliver the same message.

Moderates: How they voted for HR 4737 (Roll Call 170)

Boehlert, R-N.Y. Yes

Boyd, D-Fla. Yes

Castle, R-Del. Yes

Cramer, D-Ala. Yes

Edwards, D-Tx Yes

Gilchrest, R-Md. Yes

Greenwood, R-Pa. Yes

Hall, D-Tx Yes

Holden, D-Pa. Yes

Houghton, R-N.Y. Yes

Johnson, R-Conn. Yes

Johnson, R-Ill. Yes

LoBiondo, R-N.J. Yes

Lucas, D-KY. Yes

Peterson, D-Minn. Yes

Petri, R-Wis. Yes

Pomeroy, D-ND Yes

Shays, R-Conn. Yes

Simmons, R-Conn. Yes

Tanner, D-Tenn. Not Voting

Taylor, D-Miss. Yes

Weldon, R-Pa. Yes

Wu, D-Or. Yes

New House Members:

Alexander, D-La Grijalva, D-Ariz.

Ballance, D-NC Harris, R-Fl

Barrett, R-SC Hensarling, R-Tx

Beauprez, R-Co Janklow, R-SD

Bell, D-Tx King, R-Ia

Bishop, D-NY Kline, R-Mn

Bishop, R-Ut Majette, D-Ga

Blackburn, R-Tn Marshall, D-Ga

Bonner, R-Ala. McCotter, R-Mi

Bradley, R-NH Meek, D-Fl

Burgess, R-Tx Michaud, D-Me

Burns, R-Ga Miller, D-NC

Cardoza, D-Ca. Miller, R-Mi

Carter, R-Tx Murphy, R-Pa

Case, D-Hi Musgrave, R-Co

Chocola, R-In Nunez, R-Ca.

Cole, R-Ok Pearce, R-NM

Cooper, D-Tn Porter, R-Nv

Davis, D-Ala. Renzi, R-Ariz.

Davis, D-Tn Rogers, R-Ala.

Diaz-Balart, R-Fl Ruppersberger, D-Md

Emanuel, D-Il Ryan, D-Oh

Feeney, R-Fl Sanchez, D-Ca.

Franks, R-Ariz. Scott, D-Ga

Garrett, R-NJ Turner, R-Oh

Gerlach, R-Pa Van Hollen, D-Md

Gingrey, R-Ga Waite, R-Fl

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jose Quinonez at the Center for Community Change, 202-339-9313 or jquinonez@communitychange.org.

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