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: 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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Blog: Can Democracy Survive Voter Suppression Laws and Flood of "Big Money" into Election Coffers? (Second of 2-part Series)

Aug 13, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

(This is the second in a two-part series addressing the question of the title. This article addresses the issue of "big money" in our elections).

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Blog: Can Democracy Survive Voter Suppression Laws and Flood of "Big Money" into Election Coffers? (Part 1 of 2-part Series)

Aug 12, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

It sometimes seems like our once-brave experiment with democracy is today under siege with the proliferation of voter suppression laws being passed by states and localities and the Supreme Court upholding near-unbridled use of money in elections, which has eviscerated campaign reform efforts. But this is neither the first nor last time we must choose democracy and social justice over discrimination and plutocracy. Fortunately, thousands of individuals and groups have joined to wage this struggle.

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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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