As lawmakers in Washington work to find compromise on the top line number for a legislative package that contains much of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, Rep. Joe Neguse is calling on Democratic leaders to hold the line on gun violence prevention funding.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the Lafayette Democrat and 14 of his House Democratic colleagues, including Colorado delegation member Jason Crow, urged legislative leaders to preserve a $5 billion proposal in the Build Back Better budget reconciliation bill for community violence intervention programs.

That sum, part of the Break the Cycle of Violence Act, would be doled out over an eight-year period via a competitive grant program. The funding would go toward community-based organizations and local governments “that develop effective, prevention-oriented violence reduction initiatives focused on young people at highest risk for violence.”

“Gun violence is a significant public health and public safety concern that continues to stymie social and economic development in our communities,” the letter said. “We ask that you preserve this strong funding in the final budget reconciliation bill.”

Aside from the emotional and physical tolls, the signees wrote, gun violence also carries a hefty price tag. Citing a study from Everytown for Gun Safety, the Democratic lawmakers said between health care expenses and criminal justice costs, every gun homicide carries a bill of roughly $448,000. For the United States as a whole, that amounts to $280 billion every year.

“Congress must use every legislative tool available fund a comprehensive agenda to protect Americans from the pain, agony, and financial toll of gun violence,” the letter said.

The missive comes as lawmakers are trying to reduce the original top line number for the reconciliation package after Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona balked at the original $3.5 trillion figure.

Manchin and Sinema yield an unusual amount of power in the negotiations. Though the budget reconciliation bypasses the Senate’s filibuster, Senate Democrats need their full voting block to support the measure in order for it to clear the chamber.

Meanwhile, CQ Roll Call reported earlier this week that Pelosi indicated Democrats need to make crucial decisions “in the next few days” on measure to cut from the budget package, though declined to say what was on the chopping block.

According to that report, “Democrats have not made a single decision about what social spending or climate programs they would cut to drop the price tag closer to the approximately $2 trillion level President Joe Biden thinks moderate and progressive Democrats in the narrowly divided Congress can all support.”

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