Individual blog entries on specific issues can be found by clicking on that issue under the “Issues” tab in the upper right corner. On each issue page you will find a link to  related “Blogs” in the right column.

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Blog: Much Bad Policy Lurking in the Final Spending Bill for FY 2015, Known as the “Cromnibus”

Dec 19, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein

The “Cromnibus” – a hybrid of a Continuing Resolution (CR), funding the Department of Homeland Security until the end of February 2015 (giving those opposed to the president’s executive order on immigration a chance to work their budgetary legerdemain), and 11 omnibus bills for the remainder of the government – is riddled with policy riders that should have been thoroughly debated openly and voted up or down during congressional sessions in FY 2014.

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Blog: Update on Key Fiscal Issues for FY 2015 in This Lame Duck Session of Congress

Dec 08, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein

The two major fiscal issues requiring action in this lame-duck congressional session are the 55+ so-called “tax extender” breaks that expired in January 2014 and the passage of a federal budget for 2015. Regarding the latter, the Continuing Resolution (CR) passed in September expires on December 11, 2014.

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Uncle Scrooge is Taking Over Uncle Sam!

Dec 01, 2014 | By Colin Christopher

Call on Congress to Give Tax Justice for Tiny Tim! 1-888-738-3058Advent is here. Let us be thankful for what we have, and mindful of what we can do to build that kind of community of which Jesus spoke -- a community where there is enough for all.

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Blog: Key Fiscal Issues for FY 2015 during the Lame Duck Session of Congress

Nov 25, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

Whether we like it or not, fiscal issues will be paramount in this lame duck session at the end of this year because the stop-gap spending bill, called a continuing resolution (CR), funded the federal government only until December 11, 2014, and because several significant tax provisions affecting a large number of Americans must be either extended or allowed to expire by December 31.

Let’s deal with appropriations first.

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Blog: What We Propose If Congress Renews a Host of Expiring Tax Provisions

Nov 21, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

Economists generally agree that temporary tax policies are ineffective for economic growth, yet Congress has consistently extended a host of tax provisions that are known collectively as “tax extenders” in lieu of genuine tax reform.

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Blog: Short-term Strategies for Assisting Migrant Children on Our Border and the Central American Countries They're Fleeing

Nov 07, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

NETWORK believes there are several short-term, low-cost strategies that Congress can take immediately to alleviate the humanitarian problem of migrant children from the Central American “Northern Triangle” countries on our southern border. Two key strategies are to stop certain programs that have exacerbated the situation.

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Blog: Addendum to Previous Report on Overall Poverty Data from the Bureau of the Census

Oct 30, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

The Bureau of the Census released its data on poverty in the U.S. using the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) on October 16, 2014. This addendum is intended to supplement the blog written on overall poverty data using the official measure of poverty published in mid-September.

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Blog: Trade Agreements Can Have a Huge Impact on a Nation’s Life

Oct 16, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

Included in every significant U.S. trade deal of the past 25 years is a system of private tribunals, known as the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), which allows corporations to sue governments when they feel that their financial interests have been breached by a government policy, rule or regulation. These suits are not heard in any court, but in an extra-governmental tribunal consisting of three judges engaged for just that one case. And there is no appeal from that tribunal to a higher court.

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Blog: The Many Effects of Inequality

Oct 15, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

Although there have been several blogs on this website on the topic of inequality, the issue is increasingly relevant for so many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that inequality is the source of so many economic ills. Wherever one looks the specter of inequality rears its head.

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Blog: Shared Prosperity Remains Elusive According to Poverty Data Released by the Census Bureau

Sep 18, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

While the Census Bureau data shows that the official poverty rate fell from 15% in 2012 to 14.5% in 2013, that fact is little consolation to low and middle-income families whose wages and salaries have been largely stagnant, and in many cases, even declining since 2000. Median income for non-elderly households fell from $65,785 to $58,448, a decline of $7,337 or 11.2% from 2000 to 2013.

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Blog: Assessing the Implementation of the Child Nutrition Act of 2010 and Preparing for Its Reauthorization in 2015

Sep 16, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

The Child Nutrition Act, reauthorized in 2010 as the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), covers funding for school meal and child nutrition programs, known variously as the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, Afterschool Meal Program, Summer Nutrition Program and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).  The bill that reauthorizes these programs is usually referred to by shorthand as the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill.

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Legislative Updates as Congress Returns from August Recess

Sep 03, 2014 | By NETWORK Government Relations Staff Team

Lawmakers will soon return to Capitol Hill. Here's what you need to know about what's on their agenda. Read more

Blog: What Will Happen to the 2015 Federal Budget When Congress Returns in September?

Aug 28, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

The Fiscal Times reminds us that Congress has only successfully passed 13 spending bills on time since 2001, and during election years has enacted a federal budget only 25% of the time. So I guess we should not be surprised that everyone is anticipating a “continuing resolution” (CR) as a near inevitability this year with mid-term elections soon upon us and only about 12 days of congressional activity remaining in September before recess.

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The Sad Saga of Congress Isn't Finished Yet

Aug 26, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

Recent Vox reports have included charts proving that Congress is indeed getting worse. One, from a Brookings Institution report, showed the percent of important legislative issues in gridlock in each Congress since 1947 rising from less than 30% to 70%.

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