As one of 12 members of the Congressional Supercommittee tasked with trimming more than $1 trillion from the national budget over 10 years, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey's calendar is pretty full these days -- especially considering that the Nov. 23 deadline is fast approaching to get a deal done.
Still, officials at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia have managed to land a half-hour slot on his Oct. 19 schedule to discuss their concerns about the budget talks, provided a last-minute meeting of the bipartisan Supercommittee isn't scheduled. Two weeks ago, Toomey had to postpone a meeting with the group.
"Sen. Toomey is respectful of nonprofits and is looking to hear positive solutions," said Robin Schatz, who directs government affairs for Federation and arranged the meeting.
Also expected to take part are: Brian Gralnick, director of Federation's Center for Social Responsibility; Jay Spector, president and CEO of JEVS Human Services; William Daroff, vice president for public policy and director of the Washington office of the Jewish Federations of North America; Stuart Skinner, CEO of Catholic Health Care Services; and Laura Boyce, associate vice president of community impact for United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Schatz said the group is concerned that the committee may call for disproportionate cuts to programs that serve the underprivileged. She plans to address the issue of Medicaid in particular. Although some cuts may be necessary, they can be enacted in a systematic and smart way, she said.