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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Keeping an Eye on Appropriations

Jun 09, 2014 | By Marge Clark, BVM

The House and Senate committees are working hard to complete spending bills for FY2015 before the August recess. Multiple appropriations bills are moving simultaneously, with several being critical this week.  As we know, our budget is a moral document—and the appropriations process is where the rubber hits the road. Decisions made during this process will have a huge impact on our nation’s finances and priorities. Take action and email your members of Congress today!

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Blog: Opposition to Gun Violence in America

Jun 09, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

As The Faithful Budget 2014 makes clear, our society, and especially our youth, suffer from the prevalence of guns and violence in our nation. “As the most heavily-armed society in the world, the firearm-related death rate among U.S. children younger than 15 years of age is nearly 12 times higher than among children in 25 other industrialized countries combined. Research shows that our habits of violence are socially and financially costly compared to other nations.” (p. 43).

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Blog: Opposition to Gun Violence in America

Jun 09, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

As The Faithful Budget 2014 makes clear, our society, and especially our youth, suffer from the prevalence of guns and violence in our nation. “As the most heavily-armed society in the world, the firearm-related death rate among U.S. children younger than 15 years of age is nearly 12 times higher than among children in 25 other industrialized countries combined. Research shows that our habits of violence are socially and financially costly compared to other nations.” (p. 43).

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Blog: Pay and Working Conditions at Wal-Mart Run Counter to the Joy of the Gospel Message

Jun 05, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein

Companies like Wal-Mart are notorious for exploitation of their workers. Take a look at how they can improve their business practices, and what other companies have done, to foster a more just "economy of inclusion." Read more

Blog: Where Do We Stand Today on Voting Rights?

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

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a landmark piece of federal legislation signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson and later amended five times to expand its protections. Designed to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, it prohibits any state or local government from imposing any laws that result in discrimination against racial or language minorities.

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Blog: House Republicans Gut Nutrition Standards Set by Institute of Medicine

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

House Republicans have inserted language into the 2015 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) appropriations bill that allows schools to opt out of the nutrition standards set by the “2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act” (and introduced in schools in the 2012-13 school year) if they can show the programs lose money over a six-month period.

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Blog: Immigration Reform Update

May 24, 2014 | By Laura Peralta-Schulte, NETWORK Lobbyist

Faith leaders met this week on Capitol Hill with Cesar Gonzalez, Chief of Staff for Representative Diaz-Balart, a Republican member from Florida who is a leading advocate for immigration reform. Immigration reform is the priority of the office, Cesar told us, and Rep. Diaz-Balart is meeting with ever member of the Republican House Caucus to try and build a consensus bill to reform our broken system.

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Blog: Targeting Companies That Move Overseas to Dodge Taxes

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

Corporate tax-dodging deals known as “inversions,” in which a U.S. multinational shifts its tax domicile to a lower-tax country, would be restricted for two years under legislation proposed in both houses of Congress on May 19, 2014. Representative Sander Levin and Senator Carl Levin, brothers from Michigan, proposed both bills, each of which had more than a dozen co-sponsors, all Democrats. The rationale behind the two-year moratorium would give Congress time to pursue broad changes in the corporate tax code.

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Blog: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's Work for Women and Families

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

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) celebrated its 20th anniversary in February of this year. Back in 1994, the legislation, which guaranteed up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to workers recovering from a serious medical condition and those caring for seriously ill spouses, parents or children or for new children, was a significant advance for this country. However, the law's shortcomings are glaring:

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Blog: National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

May 20, 2014 | By Marge Clark, BVM

The National Defense Authorization Act prioritizes the direction that will be taken by the Pentagon as it puts forward programs and weapons systems, continuing some that are in existence and authorizing the development of new ones.

At this time, when the war in Iraq has ended and the war in Afghanistan is to end by the end of this calendar year, NETWORK feels strongly that it is a time to pull back on some existing practices. Three areas are of particular concern to NETWORK:

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Support Accountability and Transparency in Funding Our Troops

May 19, 2014 | By Marge Clark, BVM

Right now, both the House and Senate are focused on the Defense spending bill for FY 2015. Part of this bill includes a slush fund for the Pentagon, called the Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO) fund, which allows purchases to fill immediate needs in war zones. This is a separate source of funding outside of the normal budget process, which is unique to the Pentagon budget.

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Working to Make Mother's Day Happier for Millions

May 11, 2014 | By Shantha Ready Alonso

Immigrant mothers like Angelina need you to take action for justice, to protect her family and millions like her. Call 1-866-940-2439 to reach your representative.  Read more

Blog: Overseas Contingency Operations and How the Fund Is Currently Used

May 09, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

The Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund is money set aside in the DOD portion of the federal budget for expenses such as: crisis response, infrastructure and coalition support for operations in Iraq/Afghanistan, humanitarian assistance in parts of the Middle East and North Africa and embassy security, among other needs abroad.

The OCO fund is the name given to it by the Obama Administration in 2009 when the nomenclature used by President George W. Bush -- the "Global War on Terror" -- was discarded.

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Blog: Senate Republicans Block the Minimum Wage Bill

May 02, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

On April 30, Senate Democrats were unable to advance the Minimum Wage Fairness Act (sometimes referred to as the Harkin/Miller bill), which would raise the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour in three increments to $10.10 an hour by 2016. The vote in the Senate failed by 54-42 to clear the filibuster threshold. In addition to tying the wage floor to an inflation index, the bill would also raise the so-called “tipped” minimum wage for restaurant servers and other tipped workers to 70% of the standard minimum wage.

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Blog: Economic Inequality and the McCutcheon Decision

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

“Government should prevent an immoderate accumulation of riches.”  James Madison

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