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AAS Call to Action: Let Congress Hear Your Opinion on the Sequester: NDD Coalition Day of Action

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 15:08

Background

The AAS is a member of a coalition of 3,200 national organizations named NDD United. The coalition has worked actively to communicate to Congress that a balanced approach to deficit reduction is necessary and that significant cuts to the non-defense discretionary (NDD) portion of the federal budget called for by the 2011 balanced budget amendment in the form of a sequester would have wide-ranging and negative impacts. The sequester is scheduled to be implemented on March 1st.

The White House budget office estimates that this $85 billion sequester will require across-the-board cuts of five percent for non-defense discretionary programs and eight percent for defense discretionary programs. With only seven months left in FY 2013, the effective cuts for some programs could even reach nine percent for non-defense and 13 percent for defense. While we cannot predict specific programmatic impacts at this point, these additional cuts will clearly mean fewer grants, deferred missions, layoffs of contractor personnel, and furloughs of Federal employees.

NDD United delivered a letter to Congress on February 11th  (http://publichealthfunding.org/uploads/NDD3200Letter.Final.Feb2013.pdf) and is calling for all members of the Coalition to speak out to their member of Congress via Twitter on Thursday, February 14th.

AAS members may also make contact directly by phone, fax, or letter, if they do not use Twitter or are unfamiliar with its use. Sending email is not an efficient way of communicating with Congress, so do not utilize this communication medium.

What You Can Do Today

The AAS asks all members to take a moment today to contact their members of Congress.

If you use Twitter, use your members' twitter handle and the sample tweets below to make your voice heard. A slightly outdated but complete list of members' twitter handles are available here: http://govsm.com/w/House and here: http://govsm.com/w/Senate.

If you'd prefer to make a call, send a FAX or write a letter, use the AAS' Contacting Congress resource to find your members' office numbers [ http://aas.org/contacting-congress ]. A brief message indicating that you want your member of Congress to take a balanced approach to deficit reduction and that you are against the sequester will be sufficient. Specifics are not required at this time.

Template & Sample Tweets from the NDD United are appended below. BE SURE TO
CUSTOMIZE THE CONTENT FOR YOUR USE…DO NOT CUT AND PASTE!

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Template

We need to invest in education, public safety, research, & infrastructure [insert member twitter
handle]. #NoMoreCuts to these vital areas!

Sample

We need to invest in education, public safety, research, & infrastructure @MaxBaucus.
#NoMoreCuts to these vital areas!

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Template

Discretionary investments have already been cut by nearly $1.5 trillion. [insert member twitter
handle] make sure there are #NoMoreCuts! #sequester

Sample

Discretionary investments have already been cut by nearly $1.5 trillion. @MaxBaucus make
sure there are #NoMoreCuts! #sequester

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Template (links to NDD national sign-on letter)

Remember [insert member twitter handle], over 3200 groups want you to say #NoMoreCuts to
discretionary investments! http://bit.ly/11Bzd0t #sequester

Sample

Remember @MaxBaucus, over 3200 groups want you to say #NoMoreCuts to discretionary
investments! http://bit.ly/11Bzd0t #sequester

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Template

#Sequestration means an 5.1% cut to #[insert issue area of concern] funding in 2013. [insert
member twitter handle] make sure there are #NoMoreCuts! http://bit.ly/11Bzd0t

Sample

#Sequestration means an 5.1% cut to #education funding in 2013. @MaxBaucus make sure
there are #NoMoreCuts! http://bit.ly/11Bzd0t

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Template (links to AIA jobs loss report)

Discretionary cuts to #[insert issue area of concern] harm the #economy! [insert member twitter
handle] say #NoMoreCuts! http://bit.ly/11Bzd0t

Sample

Discretionary cuts to #education harm the #economy! @MaxBaucus say #NoMoreCuts! http://
bit.ly/11Bzd0t

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Joel R. Parriott
Deputy Executive Officer and Director of Public Policy
American Astronomical Society (AAS)
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