ISSUE AREA: BUDGET & APPROPRIATIONS
The federal budget is a moral document that reflects our nation’s priorities. Our budget must prioritize human needs programs, care for vulnerable members of our society, restore economic opportunity, and invest in community.
The federal budget is a moral document that shows the clearest expression of our nation’s priorities. Social safety net programs, which help families afford food, housing, and other necessities, are vital to mending the gaps in our country, and their funding must be protected. NETWORK believes human needs funding should be legislators’ first priority when determining spending, and we reject the unrealistic idea that the nation’s deficit can be resolved by cutting programs helping families at the economic margins.
In one of the richest countries in the world, poverty should not be a life sentence. A faithful budget meets the needs of the 100% and allows all people to live in dignity.
NETWORK Advocates for Federal Policies That:
Reduce the growing divide between the wealthiest and those struggling for economic survival.
Misguided priorities allow legislators to prioritize spending like tax breaks for the wealthy over the needs of middle and low income families. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, for example, permanently under-taxes the ultra-rich while over-taxing working families. This is shameful and unjust. Mending the wealth gap requires both a federal budget that funds responsible programs and a tax system that raises reasonable revenue to pay for these programs.
Ensure the 100% live in dignity with just revenue and expenditure levels.
Everyone has the right to a dignified life. To achieve this, the federal budget must prioritize true human security through investments in human needs. We can only afford this when ultra-wealthy individuals and corporations pay their fair share in taxes to support the common good. A robustly funded federal safety net will ensure members of our communities are not struggling but supported, and on a sustainable path to self-sufficiency.
Create vibrant, healthy communities through federal appropriations.
Every year, Congress must pass 12 appropriations bills to fund the government. It is imperative that these spending bills include adequate discretionary funding for human needs without including damaging policy riders. In federal appropriation bills, NETWORK supports increased funding for safe, affordable housing, an accurate census, and secure elections. NETWORK urges lawmakers to use federal spending to protect immigrant families rather than funding predatory enforcement that terrorizes immigrant communities.
Increase funding for human needs and defense the same amount.
Congress increases funding for the Pentagon every year, across multiple appropriations bills. The most obvious are Defense Appropriations and funding for the Department of Homeland Security. Human needs funding should not lag behind military spending in our country. We must prioritize investment in our domestic communities – in housing, health care, nutrition, and other programs for families and individuals – and not let the defense budget absorb our nation’s vast resources. When Congress sets funding levels, therefore, they must raise spending for defense and non-defense programs at equal rates, maintaining parity for these two priorities.