MAY FEATURED ARTICLE
May 11, 2018
From USCCB Department of Justice, Peace & Human Development and
Catholic Charities USA
The House of Representatives may bring the Farm Bill for a vote as early as next week! The current bill has serious flaws that would negatively impact poor, hungry and vulnerable people. We are calling on the House to make the following changes:
- Maintain state options for broad-based categorical eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Its elimination could cause as many as 2 million individuals to lose access to SNAP. Moreover, while we support investments in education and training, these investments are handicapped by severe penalties for applicants who do not meet work requirements.
- No elimination of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). The Conservation Stewardship Program promotes sensible care of the land and natural resources and helps us to care for our common home by providing ongoing performance-based stewardship payments to support conservation measures on working farms.
- Maintain support and funding for programs that benefit small farmers, including farmers markets and organic farms. The largest 10% of farms claim 60% of the subsidies from the crop programs and the share of subsidies claimed by the biggest farms has tripled since 1991. Rather than addressing these inequities, the House Farm Bill creates a new loophole that would qualify cousins, nieces, and nephew of farmers for subsidies even if they don’t live or work on the farm.
- Support an amendment that would allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture to use a less restrictive interpretation of the cargo preference law. USDA is forced to make much higher payments due to different interpretations of the cargo preference law. These overcharges come at the expense of helping more people.
- Oppose reductions for rural development. The current bill cuts USDA rural development funding by more than $500 million, which would limit the expansion of broadband access to areas in need.
Now is the time to make your voice heard. Tell your member of Congress to insist on changes to the Farm Bill.
There continues to be a flurry of Activity in immigration policy. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) canceled Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 57,000 Hondurans adding to the 195,000 Salvadorians, 46,000 Haitians and 9,000 Nepalis who have already lost legal protection. In addition, this week Attorney General Sessions announced a new enforcement policy which pushes for increased detention and separation of parents and children for families crossing the border. Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) continues to speak out for a just and humane immigration policy which provides security whiles respecting human dignity and family stability.
As we approach Pentecost, we are reminded that God’s redemptive mission extends to all people regardless of language and backgrounds. This mission calls on us all to work to better understand our universal calling for love and understanding of people in all corners of the globe. Learn more about how the Share the Journey Campaign provides resources and information on people in need both here and around the world. Go to www.sharethejourney.org for more information.