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NETWORK Analysis of President Obama’s New Budget Proposal

February 5, 2015

NETWORK strongly believes the federal budget is a moral statement of the priorities of our nation. We analyze budget proposals according to social justice teachings of our faith and call on elected leaders to write and approve budgets that serve all segments of society, particularly those struggling to overcome poverty, with an eye to future generations. The federal budget should aim to build a strong domestic economy and thriving communities for the 100%.

Update on NETWORK’s Legislative Agenda

December 10, 2014

NETWORK continues to be strongly engaged in lobbying Congress during these last few days of the 113th Congress. At the same time, we are gearing up for new challenges in 2015. Here is a brief overview:

Revise the Johnson-Crapo Bill to Make Housing Finance Reform Viable

For the past few years, many thoughtful people have been engaged in a heated debate over the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored mortgage enterprises (GSEs) that required a taxpayer bailout in 2008. A consensus has been slowly developing on the goals of GSE reform. While there is guarded optimism about the resulting bill, called Johnson-Crapo, there is also a great deal of controversy over specific sections, and many suggestions for improvement.

Income Inequality

According to research in several disciplines, the extreme disparities of wealth and power that exist in our country are corroding our democratic system and public trust. They are leading to a breakdown in civic cohesion and social solidarity, values that have always been significant in American society, as well as in Christian teachings. 

Raise the Minimum Wage

Currently, the average minimum wage worker makes about $15,080 per year if she or he is working fulltime (federal minimum wage has been $7.25/hour since 2009). For a family of two or more that is well below the federal poverty line. According to Catholic Social Teaching, a living wage is integral to our understanding of work. Wages must allow workers to provide for themselves and their families, and yet this is hardly possible if one is dependent on the current minimum wage.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as Food Stamps) - updated

The largest nutrition assistance program—the “first line of defense” against hunger—is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps. Read more

Emergency Long-term Unemployment Insurance Must Be Extended

With a volatile economy and job losses rooted in the recession, unemployment insurance has become vital to families across the country. Millions of workers who lost their jobs have been denied this critical lifeline since Congress failed to extend longterm insurance, which expired on December 28. Congress must act quickly to undo the damage.  Read more