Nuns on the Bus Kicks Off

The first “Nuns on the Bus” tour kicks off in Iowa to raise awareness of the negative effects that House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan’s federal budget would have on our country’s most vulnerable people and families.

Catholic Sisters Under Fire

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) issues a doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. In response, Catholic Sisters receive an outpouring of support.

The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act passes the Senate after extensive debate. While the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposed the ACA’s final passage, NETWORK urged Congress to vote yes to extend to healthcare coverage to millions of people.

A New Pope

Pope John Paul II’s death ends his nearly 27-year papacy, Pope Benedict XVI is elected.

9/11 Response

The U.S. is attacked by Al-Qaeda; the next month, the U.S. invades Afghanistan. NETWORK vocally opposes military action and seeks a peaceful resolution. Federal military spending increases, further threatening funding for beleaguered domestic programs.

The Presidential Citizens Medal

Carol Coston, OP receives the Presidential Citizens Medal, the country’s second highest civilian honor, from President Clinton for her work shaping federal public policy. 

The Reagan Years Begin

Ronald Reagan elected President. During the eight-year Reagan presidency, NETWORK lobbyists, organizers, and members worked to minimize the deep cuts to human needs programs, increases in military spending, and tax cuts championed by President Reagan. A 1984 poem by NETWORK member Alma Nieland illustrates the NETWORK community’s motivation: “Let me stop the wheels of oppression from grinding so hard as they otherwise would.”

Protesting “Welfare Reform”

President Clinton signs the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act into law, dramatically cutting the number of people eligible for federal aid. 

As President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act into law, NETWORK staff marched in protest outside the White House gates. NETWORK joined Pax Christi and several religious congregations to found the Welfare Reform Watch Project to collect multi-year statistics and anecdotal information about the law’s impact on low-income families. NETWORK also provided testimony to Congress and published several reports that drew media attention.

The first Welfare Reform Watch Project report, “Poverty Amid Plenty,” was released in April 1999.