Catholic Lobby Celebrates Final Legislative Victories of 2019

For Immediate Release: December 20, 2019
Contact: Lee Morrow,, 202-601-7871

Catholic Lobby Celebrates Final Legislative Victories of 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Just days before Christmas, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice applauds Congress for breaking through unprecedented gridlock by passing a group of legislative victories that provide relief to working families and affirm the common good.

Thousands of NETWORK activists across the country engaged in targeted, sustained advocacy campaigns supporting our appropriations and policy priorities that mend the gaps.

The victories we celebrate today are a testament to our members and include: full funding for the 2020 decennial census, an investment in election security, increased funding for affordable rental housing, 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal workers, and the extension of community health program funding.

“2019 started in crisis,” said Tralonne Shorter, Senior Government Relations Advocate for NETWORK. “A 35-day government shutdown offered little hope that a fragmented government would rebound. These year-end appropriations victories are gifts to working families and our democracy is far better for having prioritized investments in human needs.”

“Full funding to support critical Census operations will ensure that our constitutionally required decennial count unfolds as planned,” said Sr. Quincy Howard, OP, Government Relations Specialist for NETWORK. “Congress also wisely chose to include $425 million to support local and state jurisdictions in their efforts to secure our election infrastructure prior to the 2020 elections.”

“The inclusion of 12 weeks paid parental leave championed by Representative Carolyn Maloney in the National Defense Authorization Act is a sign that this nation is ready to finally provide comprehensive paid family and medical leave for all workers,” said Anne Marie Bonds, Government Relations Associate for NETWORK. “The federal government employs 2.1 million workers, in which nearly 1 in 5 are women of color who generally possess less generational wealth, retirement savings, and lower wages than their white counterparts. Providing family-friendly workplace protections is necessary to build an economy that puts people, not profit, at the center.”

These victories should be celebrated, but there is more work to be done. Congress missed opportunities to create faithful tax and immigration policies that would contribute to an economy and a society of inclusion.

“Despite the NDAA including additional Special Immigrant Visas and protections for DACA and TPS recipients in the armed forces, Congress missed opportunities on most immigration priorities,” said Giovana A. Oaxaca Najera, Government Relations Associate for NETWORK. “The Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill veers on dangerously negligent. By failing to put restrictions on the Administration’s ability to transfer funds between accounts, and by raising topline dollars for ICE and CBP, the packages with immigration priorities reject the faithful and just premise of compassionate and responsible immigration policy. These policies are unjust.”

“We are deeply disappointed that the White House and Republican leaders rejected improvements in the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit in this year’s tax bill,” said Laura Peralta-Schulte, Senior Government Relations Advocate for NETWORK. “These credits are two of the most effective, proven policies for reducing poverty and improving kids’ futures. Congress once again missed a critical opportunity to start fixing our tax laws to give working people and children a fair shot. We are grateful to Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Neal, Senate Minority Leader Schumer, Senator Brown and Senator Bennett for being critical champions who fought until the very end to improve the lives of low income workers and families.”


NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice – advocates for justice inspired by Catholic Sisters – educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. They have a nearly 50-year track record of lobbying for critical federal programs that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good.