This is a special time of the year. Festive lights are being strung, family and friends are gathering, and lawmakers are working overtime to pass a flurry of legislation before year’s end.
That’s right. It’s lame duck season in Congress.
With the midterm elections largely over and a new session of Congress set to begin in January 2023, December is the last chance for the 117th Congress to leave its mark. It’s an urgent time for lawmakers and advocates alike.
Some action is already underway. This week, for instance, the Senate passed landmark legislation that would mandate federal recognition of same-sex marriage.
But this is just the start of a busy month. Here’s some of what’s on our wish list for l during this lame duck session:
- Bring back the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC). When the CTC was expanded in 2021, it reduced child poverty by 30%. Bipartisan negotiations to revive the expanded CTC are expected to ramp up in the coming weeks, and we urge Congress to seize the moment.
- Repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq (2002 Iraq AUMF). The Iraq war ended years ago, yet this dangerous authorization remains on the books. Congress can reassert its authority over war by repealing the 2002 Iraq AUMF in the annual defense policy bill.
- Enact a pathway to citizenship. Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants continue to live in perpetual limbo as courts and administration officials decide their fate. Congress can help by creating a pathway to citizenship.
- Protect our democracy. We’re nearing the second anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection. Far more must be done to bolster voting rights and elections, and lawmakers can start by reforming the Electoral Count Act (S.4573) to safeguard our presidential elections.
We’re pushing hard for these priorities on Capitol Hill, and we know you’re supporting this crucial work from home. Stay tuned for updates from us, stay warm, and stay engaged. It could be a big month for advocates looking to create a more just and peaceful world.
Calls to Pass Environmental Justice Bill in Honor of Rep. McEachin
The sudden death of Rep. Donald McEachin (VA-04) this week inspired a renewed push for House passage of the Environmental Justice for All Act (H.R. 2021). The bill, which he championed, seeks to address the impact of fossil fuel pollution on communities through enhanced legal protections and enforcement. During FCNL’s recent Annual Meeting and Quaker Public Policy Institute, hundreds of advocates lobbied lawmakers to support this legislation. Tell Congress: Support the Environmental Justice for All Act.
EU Calls for Tribunal on War Crimes in Ukraine
European Union President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the EU would seek to establish a new criminal court to prosecute possible war crimes by Russia in Ukraine. This is an essential step towards accountability.
Palestinian Student Released from Detention
Shadi Khoury, a Palestinian student at Ramallah Friends School, was released on Sunday and is now under house arrest. The teen spent more than five weeks in military detention centers. His experience is just one example of the systematic abuse felt by Palestinian children living under occupation. Urge Congress to prohibit the use of U.S. funds to support injustices against Palestinians.
Shadi at home with Rania Mayaah, the head of the Ramallah Friends School.
Learning Under Occupation
Register to join our online December Quaker Changemaker Event—”Learning Under Occupation at Ramallah Friends School”—on Dec. 15 at 12:00 p.m. EST to hear about Hassan El-Tayyab’s visit to the school in dialogue with Head of School Rania Mayaah.
A Win for Democracy
A runoff election for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia is less than a week away. Whatever the outcome, FCNL General Secretary Bridget Moix writes, the real winner is democracy. Read more via Religion News Service.
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