Happy New Year 2013! The Catholics Confront Global Poverty team prays that this New Year brings you many blessings and thanks God for your commitment to helping our brothers and sisters in need around the world by raising your voice.
The Good News: Last minute negotiations over the New Year holiday between the White House and Senate resulted in legislation that the Congress passed and the President signed into law that prevented our nation from going over ‘the fiscal cliff.’ Specifically, the law prevents income tax rates for most Americans from going up, and delays automatic across-the-board spending cuts to most U.S. government programs, including poverty-focused international assistance.
The law also extends the Farm Bill that had expired on September 30, 2012. It authorizes the continuation of lifesaving international food assistance until September 30, 2013, including our nation’s ability to provide food and nutrition to chronically hungry communities and helping them to become self-sufficient through long-term development programs. The Farm Bill extension also enables our nation to respond to the food needs of people affected by natural disasters and other emergencies.
The Bad News: The law that prevented the fiscal cliff only addresses tax issues and postpones until March 2013 deep spending cuts across all government spending, also known as ‘sequestration.’ This coincides with the March 27 expiration of the stop-gap spending bill that funds most U.S. government activities for this current fiscal year, as well as another round of negotiations regarding raising our nation’s debt ceiling. While we hope that our elected officials will find a bipartisan, comprehensive solution to avoid sequestration, all signals indicate that we will once again need your concerted effort to protect lifesaving poverty-focused international assistance from steep cuts.
Please stay tuned and stand ready to raise your voice once again to tell your elected officials that CUTS COST LIVES and that they must protect lifesaving poverty-focused international assistance.
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