This week marks the start of the August Congressional Recess. For the next few weeks, lawmakers will be in their home states, meeting with the people they represent and determining their priorities for the fall.
Legislators left town with a lot undone. The House departed after passing just one of its 12 appropriations bills. The Senate managed to get all their appropriations bills out of committee but has yet to bring them to the floor. That means that when lawmakers return to Capitol Hill in September, they will have only a few short weeks to fund the government and avoid a shutdown before the Sept. 30 deadline.
This is why your advocacy this month is crucial. All year FCNL lobbyists and advocates have been laying the groundwork to protect essential funding for peacebuilding at home and abroad, humane migration management, and global climate assistance. We have made it our mission to defend these critical programs at a time when many in Congress want to dramatically restrict the federal budget.
The pressure to cut spending has fallen especially hard on programs that advance peace and diplomacy. Yet, as Congress enters the negotiation phase of the annual appropriations process, we are optimistic that we can preserve critical peacebuilding funds together.
We saw the impact of our work so far reflected in the recent Senate markup of the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs bill and accompanying report, where the Complex Crises Fund and Reconciliation Programs were protected at FY2023 levels and included in the bill text. This major success is thanks in no small part to the persistent effort of FCNL’s Advocacy Teams.
This is a critical moment. After the August Congressional Recess concludes, votes on the House and Senate appropriations bills should be scheduled in each chamber. Before they vote, lawmakers need to hear from you.
Here are two ways to engage: Write a customized letter to your members of Congress or stop by their in-district office and drop off information about our legislative ask. It’s easy to do, and we are here to help: Email firstname.lastname@example.org for support.
Please note: This Week in the World will not be published weekly during the August Congressional Recess. You’ll hear from us again in September!
A Path Forward for Victims of Nuclear Testing
In a significant victory for communities harmed by nuclear weapons testing and production, the Senate passed a bipartisan amendment to extend and expand the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) in its annual defense policy bill. This amendment is a crucial step toward rectifying the harm caused by our government, but its passage into law is not guaranteed. Join us in demanding justice for the victims of radiation exposure.
Extreme Summer Heat Linked to Human-Caused Climate Change
A new study found that July was the hottest month on record for 81% of the global population, registering between 1.5 and 1.6 Celsius hotter than the average before preindustrial times. This demonstrates the extraordinary reach of human-caused climate change. While the heatwave was felt globally, like all impacts of the climate crisis, its impacts were not distributed evenly. This underscores the need to prioritize global climate aid as we reduce carbon emissions.
Gun Violence is Extracting a Terrible Price—How Can Friends Engage?
More than 25,000 people have died from gun violence in the United States this year. This week, Friend Peter Murchison and FCNL’s Alicia McBride are sharing resources at the Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s Annual Session to support Quaker advocacy to end gun violence. Together they are asking how we can advocate for gun violence prevention. Access resources for Friends here.
Welcoming a New Advocacy Corps Cohort
FCNL’s 2022-2023 Advocacy Corps members are on Capitol Hill for their Washington Summer Intensive this week. They are building skills and relationships to sustain their advocacy over the next ten months as they organize and advocate to interrupt community-based violence across the United States. Please hold them in the light as they begin this important work!
The Friends Committee on National Legislation is a national, nonpartisan Quaker organization that lobbies Congress and the administration to advance peace, justice, and environmental stewardship. This Week in the World. The FCNL weekly newsletter of advocacy actions and updates and opportunities to take action on the issues you care about.