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How To Call Your Representatives About Trump's Budget

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Under President Donald Trump's proposed budget, Meals on Wheels — the program that feeds seniors in need — would vanish. So would the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, and the State Energy Program, among more than a dozen others. Defense spending, though, would see a $54 billion increase. Outraged and want to speak out? Here's how to call your representatives about Trump's budget.

On Thursday, Mick Mulvaney, the White House's budget director, said it was "compassionate" to end these programs because you can't "ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit" to pay for them, according to the Daily Intelligencer. When CNN's Jim Acosta pointed out that the coal miner and single mother benefit greatly from the programs that would be shuttered, Mulvaney claimed that didn't matter because the White House is focused on "the folks who give us money in the first place" and that putting taxpayer dollars to defense spending is a totally rational way to help the American people. In the words of the Intelligencer's Eric Levitz: This is obscene.

Not sure who to call or email? Then visit the U.S. House of Representatives website and enter your zip code to find out. If you're looking for your senator, head to U.S. State Senate website and choose your state. (Both sites will pull up your reps' name and contact information.) You can also identify your representatives by going to CallGov.us or Democracy.io, which provides you with a streamlined way to email your lawmakers.

Every American has the political right to contact their representatives to voice concern or support over proposed legislation and policies. And inundating offices with phone calls and emails is an effective way for voters to hold lawmakers accountable and make sure they stand on the side protecting human rights. Under the Trump administration, this is needed now more than ever before.

Contacting your representative may seem daunting if you've never made a call or sent an email to a lawmaker before. Many advocacy groups create weekly or monthly calls-to-action to make it easier for voters to exercise their rights. The 65, a grassroots political mobilization group, released a sample script Friday that constituents can use when contacting their reps.

Trump's budget would have a devastating effect on millions of Americans if Congress adopts the proposal in whole or in part. These extreme cuts to vital services — while bulking up an already-enormous defense budget — would make America poorer, sicker, and less educated. But you can stop that from happening. If you're willing and able, call or email your representative today — the future depends on it.