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: Paul Ryan's Regulatory Reform Proposals

Aug 07, 2014 | By Bethan Johnson, NETWORK Fellow

In recent years, legislation has too frequently forced people to stomach bad policies in order to gain necessary and life-altering improvements. Such can said about Representative Ryan’s proposals in the area of regulatory reform in Expanding Opportunity in America, a mixture of positive anti-poverty suggestions and unnecessary political tactics that have no place in proposals fighting poverty.

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Blog: Paul Ryan’s Criminal Justice Proposals Are Good, Small, Bipartisan Steps to Advance Restorative Justice

Aug 01, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein

Tucked back in chapter 4 of his Expanding Opportunity in America are Congressman Ryan’s proposals for reforming the criminal justice system, an area that has received little commentary in the press compared to his “Opportunity Grants.” This is a shame because he seems willing to buck several within his party who still cling to the policies of “Let’s get tough on crime,” and the zero tolerance modus operandi used since the late 1980s. Not only does Ryan contradict his earlier votes on some of these issues, but he also places his criminal justice reforms in the context of poverty. Read more

Blog: Paul Ryan: Let's Work Together to Expand the EITC – AND Increase the Minimum Wage – America Needs Both

Jul 31, 2014 | By Laura Peralta-Schulte

It is not often that Sister Simone and Rep. Paul Ryan agree on policy issues, but we do seem to be in agreement on expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).  Where we disagree strongly is that EITC improvement should be enacted as an alternative to raising the minimum wage. Read more

Blog: Paul Ryan's Take on Education Policy Leaves Room for Improvement

Jul 29, 2014 | By Bethan Johnson

In his Expanding Opportunity in America, Congressman Paul Ryan spends a lot of time talking about education policy: actually almost as much as he talks about his “opportunity grant.” Sadly, though, it hasn't received the headlines of his safety net suggestions. This "getting buried" is more than just a disservice: it's a potential danger to Americans, as Ryan's proposed policy changes in education, if enacted, would fundamentally alter the lives of generations of Americans. Read more

Congress Must Not Weaken Protections for Trafficking Victims

Jul 28, 2014 | By Sister Simone Campbell

Earlier today, I sent the following important letter to Members of Congress calling on them to not weaken the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.

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Blog: Paul Ryan's Opportunity Grant Raises More Questions than Answers

Jul 25, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein

Congressman Paul Ryan's “Opportunity Grant” is an attempt to re-conceptualize the federal government’s role in providing a safety-net for people in poverty. This first step in a journey towards evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the social safety net leaves much to be desired, but as a discussion draft one can hope there remains room for compromise and change. Read more

Blog: If Paul Ryan Wants a Discussion on the Safety Net, We’re Ready as Long as He Is Willing to Listen

Jul 25, 2014 | By Sister Marge Clark, BVM

Congressman Paul Ryan says he wants to start a conversation about repairing the safety net and helping families get ahead. We at NETWORK look forward to this conversation – and hope the Congressman is sincere in wanting to dialogue. And since conversations need to be two-way, here are some first thoughts that I hope Congressman Ryan will listen to. Read more

Blog: Child Tax Credit Must Support Low-Income Working Families

Jul 23, 2014 | By Marge Clark, BVM

NETWORK stands in strong opposition to this bill (H.R. 4935, the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2014). The CTC, as revised in 2009, should be made permanent, with the indexing suggested in the House bill. But, the less just aspects need to be eliminated. Read more

Blog: Will There Ever Be an End to Corporations Dodging Taxes by Shifting Their Home Bases Overseas?

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

Allen Sloan, a business writer for the Washington Post and hardly a flaming liberal, wrote a long blistering attack in the Post's July 13 edition on the U.S. stampede of "corporate inversions." One might expect a liberal organization to write such an article, but not Allen Sloan! Read more

Low Wages and Real Lives

Jul 18, 2014 | By Simone Campbell, SSS

A couple of months ago I met Robin, a young woman in her mid-twenties, who works for minimum wage in a profitable clothing store chain. We were at the White House for President Obama’s signing of the executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers. She was excited that a good friend of hers would receive a raise because of this order. Her hope was that eventually she too would be able to get a raise.

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Blog: U.S. Jobs Report in June Shows Both an Improved Economy and the Legacy of the Great Recession

Jul 14, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong jobs report on July 3 that clearly indicated that employers added jobs at a robust clip in June. While payroll employment jumped by 288,000 in June and unemployment fell to 6.1% (20% lower than a year ago), there was hardly any real growth in the labor force, leaving the percentage of people with a job well below where it was at the start of the Great Recession.

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Blog: Crisis of Children on Our Southern Border

Jul 14, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein

The surge of undocumented children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, most from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, has created a full-blown immigration crisis. More than 52,000 youngsters have poured across these borders since last fall. While the number of children apprehended at the border averaged 6,800 annually between 2004 and 2011, the total jumped to over 13,000 children in 2012 and over 24,000 in 2013. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates that well over 60,000 unaccompanied minors could enter the U.S.

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Blog: In Iraq, Ancient Christian Communities Are Being Destroyed

Jul 08, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

Christians in Iraq are one of the oldest surviving continuous Christian communities in the world. The vast majority are Aramaic-speaking Assyrians, Armenians, Arabs, Kurds and Turcoman. These are the lands in which Jesus’s apostles and their disciples made some of the first Christian converts. In an interview in Christian Today (July 2, 2014), Iraq’s leading bishop, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I. Sako of Baghdad lamented, “We are losing our community.

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Blog: The Children's Defense Fund's (CDF) Cradle to Prison Pipeline Campaign

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

If you are not already familiar with the CDF's nationwide campaign, launched back in 2007, we urge you to check out the its website for national and state-level information -- as well as CDF President Marian Wright Edelman's weekly Child Watch column in the Huffington Post. Not only do I support this ongoing campaign for social justice, but I notice how it dovetails with so many of NETWORK's own initiatives, primarily our efforts to reduce inequality in this country.

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Blog: Let's Rejoice in Health Care Achievements over the Past Few Years

Jun 23, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was strongly supported by NETWORK, which played an important role in getting it passed by both houses of Congress despite its unanimous rejection by congressional Republicans. It was signed into law in March 2010 by President Obama. Without doubt, it is the most significant overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

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