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Hill Notes and Backgrounders

CSMG Legislative Priorities. On January 26, 2016, Catholic Social Ministry Gathering participants advocateon the Hill.  The following Hill Notes and Backgrounders prepare you to effectively articulate the Catholic position on the following legislative priorities:

2016 Message to Congress

International Legislative Priority

Strengthen Poverty-Reducing International Assistance and the Green Climate Fund

  • Strengthen funding for poverty-reducing international development and humanitarian assistance and invest in people and in peace by saving lives and helping people climb out of poverty.
  • Support the Green Climate Fund, the main international mechanism to assist developing countries in protecting their people from the consequences of climate change.

Domestic Legislative Priority

Enact Criminal Justice Reform

  • Urge Senators to co-sponsor The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act to reform mandatory minimum sentences, give judges more flexibility in sentencing, counter recidivism, and limit solitary confinement for juveniles.
  • Call Congress to support Second Chance Reauthorization Act to support reentry programs.
  • Request support by the House for the Sentencing Reform Act of 2015 to reduce several federal mandatory minimum drug and firearms sentences.

Joint Legislative Priority

Protect Refugees and Immigrants

  • Support robust funding for humanitarian accounts for refugees and host countries.
  • Urge additional funding for resettlement of vetted Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the United States.
  • Call on Congress to avoid anti-resettlement, anti-asylum legislation.
  • Foster strong commitments by the United State to resettle refugees based on vulnerability and regardless of nationality or religion.
  • Urge the Administration and Congress to recognize the Central American refugee crisis.
  • Urge the Administration and Congress to be open to compassionate and fair immigration reform.

Background Materials

Poverty-focused International Assistance Programs Supported by USCCB and CRS

Background on Global Climate Change

Background on Colombia

Background on Criminal and Restorative Justice and Sentencing Reform

Background on Cuba

Background on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

Background on A Mercy and Peacebuilding Approach to Gun Violence

Background on Workers and Promoting the Dignity of Work

Background on Religious Persecution and Discrimination

Background on Root Causes of Migration and the Church's Response

Background on South Sudan

Background on Syria and Iraq

Background on Trade


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