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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Guest Blog: Rep. Paul Ryan’s Budget: Housing for People Living in Poverty Gets Worse by Larry Couch

Apr 07, 2014 | By Larry Couch, Interfaith Working Group on Domestic Human Needs

After years of neglect and cuts to the federal budget, a growing number of low-income people face unaffordable housing costs. Federal housing programs have proven effective in enabling millions of low-income households to obtain stable, decent housing, during recent years. However, during the last several years, these programs have suffered major cuts.

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Blog: Faith Responses to the House Budget FY15

Apr 07, 2014 | By Marge Clark, BVM, and Ryan Murphy

The Inter-Religious Working Group on Domestic Human Needs feels compelled to respond to the budget released by the House Budget Committee – headed by Rep. Paul Ryan. Again, we are horrified by the damage it would do to individuals and families struggling to survive economically. These same households have borne the brunt of budget cuts, and sequestration cuts over the last several years. Most safety net programs have seen a 20% reduction in funding, while prices and need continue to escalate.

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Blog: McCutcheon v FEC – A Damaging Supreme Court Decision

Apr 05, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

I believe that the two Supreme Court decisions  McCutcheon v FEC, issued on April 2, 2014, and Citizens United v FEC, issued on January 21, 2010 – have struck at the heart of the framework created by the court’s seminal 1976 Buckley v Valeo decision, which upheld the political campaign reforms enacted by Congress two years earlier in response to the Watergate scandal.

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Blog: The Morality of Competing Budgets

Apr 03, 2014 | By Marge Clark, BVM

The House of Representatives is faced with a moral decision when asked to vote on alternative budget proposals as early as next week. Given that neither proposal will gain any traction in the Senate, both are messaging pieces setting the tone for mid-term elections.

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Blog: A Tax Credit Bill That Would Aid People in Poverty and Cut Corporate Breaks

Apr 01, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced new legislation, called the “21st Century Worker Tax Cut Act,” on March 26, 2014, which would increase the maximum Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for childless workers to about $1400 from $487 currently and reduce the childless worker eligibility age for the credit from 25 to 21.

It would also create a new tax deduction for low-to-middle income families with two earners and at least one child age 12 or less, allowing a 20% deduction on the secondary earner's income.

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Blog: Why Is Extending the Sign-up Time for Health Insurance Causing Such an Outcry?

Mar 27, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

The Obama Administration said on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, that all those who have tried to apply but had difficulty due to a technical problem, special circumstance or a complex case, would be given until mid-April (left relatively vague for now, but dependent on the number of people involved) to enroll in healthcare in the federal marketplace.

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Blog: What Are You Doing to Heed the Message of World Water Day? – March 22, 2014

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

Water is the lifeblood of the planet, vital for reducing the global burden of disease, and critical for socio-economic development, healthy ecosystems and human survival itself. Water is also at the heart of adaptation to climate change and is a key factor in managing risks such as famine, migration, epidemics and inequalities. Access to water supply and sanitation, however, is very unequal, whether this is measured between urban and rural areas or between disadvantaged groups and the general population.

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Blog: A Variety of Reactions to President Obama's 2015 Budget Proposal

Mar 19, 2014 | By Carolyn Burstein, NETWORK Communications Fellow

Blog: A Variety of Reactions to President Obama's 2015 Budget Proposal

In order to better understand some of the components of President Obama’s budget proposal – and to assess its chances of congressional approval – I reviewed some of the media coverage and analysis by other organizations. This is what I found:

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Blog: Safer Deportation Practices

Mar 14, 2014 | By Laura Peralta-Schulte, NETWORK Lobbyist

I was so pleased last night when the President announced he has asked for a review of the administration’s enforcement policies for immigration laws to see if it can be done “more humanely within the confines of the law.” The president stated “his deep concern about the pain too many families feel from the separation that comes from our broken immigration system.” Amen.

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Blog: Renewed Hope in the Senate for Unemployed Workers

Mar 13, 2014 | By Marge Clark, BVM

There is a glimmer of hope for the over two million American workers whose unemployment benefits have ended. A deal was announced this afternoon, which will be presented to the Senate for a vote after next week’s recess.  A bipartisan group of ten Senators developed a compromise bill to extend benefits for five months, retroactive until the date in December when federal benefits ended.

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Blog: Bipartisan Invitations to Pope Francis

Mar 13, 2014 | By Laura Peralta-Schulte, NETWORK Lobbyist

I was pleased to read that today, the first anniversary of Pope Francis’s leadership of the Catholic Church, Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi invited him to address Congress.  Both are Catholic and grasp the profound call for transformation that Pope Francis has urged. 

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Blog: Women of Faith Call for a Raise in the Minimum Wage

Mar 10, 2014 | By Tom Cordaro, NETWORK Board Member

On March 6, prior to International Women’s Day, seven women religious leaders from Chicago and the Western Suburbs gathering in Naperville, Illinois to call for an increase in the minimum wage.  The event was held in conjunction with press events around the country organized by Interfaith Worker Justice – a leader in the fight for economic and worker justice in the U.S. since 1996.

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El 31 de Marzo es el Dia Final Para Conseguir Seguro de Salud: ¿Tiene Cobertura para si Mismo, su Familia, y sus Amigos?

Mar 10, 2014 | By Shantha Ready Alonso

Ojala que tenga abierta su calendario, porque Usted necesite marcar el 31 de marzo con un gran círculo. Eso es el día final para inscribirse en un plan de seguro de salud en 2014. Bajo la nueva ley, todos los ciudadanos estadounidenses tienen que tener seguro de salud, o pagar una multa.

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