On Tuesday, the U.S. Census Bureau released new data showing what we had feared: a devastating rise in U.S. poverty.

In 2022, 15 million more people lived in poverty in our country than in 2021. Shamefully, the number of children living in poverty more than doubled in that time, jumping from a historic low of 5.2% in 2021 to 12.4% last year.

The release of the latest poverty figures comes as the House is poised to appropriate $826 billion in military spending and is considering additional tax breaks for powerful corporations. In the wealthiest country in the world, it’s simply unconscionable to pour billions more dollars into the coffers of weapons contractors and major corporations while millions of children are forced to live in poverty.

It’s never been clearer that poverty is a policy choice. The rise in poverty is a direct result of Congress’s failure to renew the expanded Child Tax Credit and other vital assistance programs. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, renewing the Child Tax Credit would have cost just $12 billion annually—a tiny fraction of the military budget or the cost of corporate tax breaks. Doing so would have kept three million children out of poverty last year.

We have the resources and the policy solutions needed to ensure that all our people, particularly children, can live in dignity and security. In the future, Congress will have ample opportunities to invest in proven solutions, like the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and critical anti-hunger programs. What’s badly needed is the political will in Congress to re-evaluate our national priorities and right this wrong.


Shutdown Risk Looms as Congress Struggles to Pass Funding Bills
The clock is ticking. Congress has just a handful of working days left to pass legislation to fund the government or face a shutdown on Oct. 1. So far, they appear to be struggling to reach an agreement. Read more about why this is happening, the implications for peace and diplomacy, and what we can expect lawmakers to do as the end of the fiscal year approaches.

Ruling Brings More Uncertainty for Dreamers
A federal judge ruled Wednesday that a program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation is unlawful. The ruling will not impact those currently protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), but new applications cannot be approved while the ruling is appealed. “Willful inaction and gridlock in Congress led to vulnerability and perilous uncertainty as DACA recipients endure relentless attacks on the program,” said FCNL’s Anika Forrest.

Positive Signs for Diplomacy in Yemen
This week, a delegation of Houthi leaders traveled to Saudi Arabia for peace talks. This is their first public visit since the Saudi-led coalition began its bombing campaign eight years ago. It is an encouraging sign that diplomacy to end the Yemen war may be progressing.

Reflecting on the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing 60 Years Later
Sixty years after a bomb planted by Ku Klux Klan members killed four young Black girls as they prepared for Sunday worship, FCNL’s Kristen Archer visited the 16th Street Baptist Church. Read her reflection on the duality of hope that can coexist alongside pain and how it propels our advocacy.

On International Peace Day: Repairing the Wounds of War
On Sept. 21, the International Day of Peace, join FCNL for a conversation with experts from Nonviolent Peaceforce. Learn how Ukrainians are using nonviolent approaches to protect civilians on the ground and how Congress can support peace worldwide.


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.