Tell Your Member of Congress to Equitably Fund Defense and Domestic Spending!

As a person of faith, a constituent, and a member of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, I support a faithful budget. Congress should equitably fund Pentagon and non-defense spending and keep them together in the same bill. Do not divide them in the name of homeland security — true security demands caring for the people in our nation through domestic programs.

In 2011, Republicans and Democrats committed to protecting non-defense spending when they agreed to increase domestic spending if they wanted to increase spending on military programs too. I have heard that Republican leadership in the House is now considering sending partisan legislation to the Senate that splits defense and non-defense discretionary spending. This would result in funding cuts to domestic programs such as homeland security, veterans, agriculture and health care programs.

I am asking you to oppose any partisan legislation that increases Pentagon spending at the expense of national safety net programs. Dividing Pentagon and non-defense spending will only ruin the financial security of Americans.

Tell Your Members of Congress to Pass a Faithful Budget

As your constituent and a person of faith, I am writing to urge you to support the passage of a Faithful Budget that fully funds safety net programs and includes the Dream Act!

A Faithful Budget is a moral document that champions the common good. Our budget must prioritize human needs programs, ensure funding to care for vulnerable members of our society, restore economic opportunity, and invest in community.  A Faithful Budget will ensure that the needs of the 100% will be met and all people will be able to live in dignity.  It does not cut domestic human needs spending to allow tax cuts for the wealthiest in our nation, increase military spending, or further militarize our border and interior enforcement officials.

From FY 2010 through 2016, funding declined for large numbers of human needs programs. FY 2017 funding was the seventh straight year of austerity for human needs programs, driven by the multi-year caps from the 2011 Budget Control Act and further reduced by additional budget cuts.  In 2018, human needs funding is set to fall by $3 billion if Congress does not take action to raise the spending caps equitably. Please ensure human needs funding is prioritized in FY 2018.

Additionally, as people of faith and a nation of many immigrants, we are called to welcome the stranger and love our neighbor.  Because our budget is a moral document, I urge you to decrease the amount of funding used for border militarization and a deportation force and ensure that we address a legislative solution (the Dream Act) for young immigrants who are now at risk of deportation.

A Faithful Budget responsibly raises revenue to pay for vital safety net programs and does not pass trillions in debt to future generations. Please make sure that any budget provides adequate funding for domestic human needs and includes the Dream Act.

Sincerely,

Email your elected officials to promote a more just tax code.

A tax reform fight is brewing in Congress. Republican proposals will almost certainly include vast tax cuts for the wealthiest in our nation that lead to cuts to anti-poverty programs like Medicare and Medicaid. At the same time, vital tax credits that exist for low-income and moderate-income individuals and families, like the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, are on the chopping block. Email your elected officials now to make sure that they know NETWORK’s tax priorities and oppose any tax proposal that would exacerbate wealth inequality.

Email Your Senators to Vote NO on the Budget Resolution

The Senate FY 2018 budget resolution demands more than $5 trillion in cuts to vital safety net programs over the next decade; while at the same time creating the framework to raise taxes for the poor and give tax breaks to the super wealthy! It is also expected to set up an expedited process which, among other things, would allow the Senate to pass tax reform legislation with only 51 votes.

The budget is a moral document. Please email your Senators to vote NO on the budget resolution, and be sure to customize the message with your own thoughts and values.

Tell Your Member of Congress to Cosponsor the Dream Act

In the wake of President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA, we must urge our members of Congress to pass legislation that will best keep Dreamers safe. While many bills are currently circulating through Congress, we at NETWORK are clear on our support for the Dream Act. There is no time to waste while Congress navigates multiple bills concerning the fate of DACA recipients– The Dream Act ensures complete and permanent protections for Dreamers. You can read more about the different proposals here on NETWORK’s Legislative Updates.

Send your elected official a targeted message to ensure they support the bill that ensures the most efficient and long-term safety for undocumented youth– the Dream Act.

Tell Congress: Mend the Gaps in Our Federal Budget

This fall, one of the key objectives for Congress is to pass a budget for FY18, which begins October 1.  Already, the road ahead looks difficult. President Trump and Republicans leaders in Congress are looking to cut spending on key programs that lift people out of poverty and increase funding for the military and immigration enforcement  This is wrong, and our people will suffer if we don’t take action now.  Email your Members of Congress today to say NO to the Trump Agenda by refusing to defund important programs that support families who are struggling to make ends meet.

Email Your State Delegate and State Senator to Expand Medicaid

There is work to be done to make sure as many people as possible are covered under the ACA. Now, it’s time for Virginia to expand Medicaid. In Virginia, approximately 400,000 adults are currently in the “coverage gap,” waiting far too long for affordable healthcare coverage. Expanding Medicaid, as was intended in the ACA but declared optional for states by the Supreme Court, can provide coverage to hundreds of thousands of people who live just above the poverty line, unable to afford their own healthcare. Join us in emailing Virginia’s State legislation to support the common good and say “yes” to Governor McAuliffe’s budget amendment!

Email Your Elected Official Their Voting Record Score

NETWORK Releases our annual voting record each year to evaluate all members of Congress on how they voted during the previous session of Congress. View our 2016 voting record and see how your elected officials scored.

This is not a partisan scorecard, and this year’s voting record contained many non “party-line” votes. One hundred and thirty-seven members of Congress were successful in voting with us 100% of the time, and 99% of Congress voted with us on at least one issue.

Our system will read how your elected officials scores and pull up the appropriate messages whether your elected officials received a 100%, a passing grade, a failing grade, or are new to Congress. If you live in D.C., Delegate Norton will receive the same message as those new to Congress since she does not receive a score, but it’s still important to let her know about your values!

Call on Congress to Restore the Voting Rights Act!

The right — and responsibility — to vote is foundational to both our faith and our democracy. It has been 3 years since the Supreme Court weakened the Voting Rights Act in Shelby v. Holder. As a result, millions of voters, particularly people of color and senior citizens, will be disenfranchised in states that have a history of discriminatory voting laws. The solution is clear: Congress must restore the Voting Rights Act by supporting H.R. 2867, the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA).