Truth in advertising – I’m a no holds barred atheist. I tried religion during college and was a complete washout. So, when I found myself in almost total agreement with the legislative principles of this Catholic organization, I was surprised.
The organization is the Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, “Advocates for Justice, inspired by Catholic Sisters“. What drew my attention was the release of their Annual Catholic Social Justice Scorecard for Congress.
Their focus is on “Mending the Gaps”. Or, as they put it:
Federal policies enacted since 1980 have exacerbated vast economic and social divides in our country. These divides are eroding the very fabric of our society. Enlivened by Pope Francis’s challenge, NETWORK renews its more than 40-year commitment to create an economy and society of inclusion.
The punchline of this year’s report is that while the House of Representatives has accomplished a great deal, the Senate has done nothing. The Senate’s dysfunction was so complete, that for the first time, this organization was unable to assess a grade. The quote below is from their press release.
Unfortunately, it was impossible to create a NETWORK Congressional voting record for the Senate’s work in 2019. While the House passed more than 400 bills, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell chose to bury almost all of this legislation. It is unprecedented to see such a dearth of substantive legislative activity in the Senate.
And the Republicans in the House didn’t exactly shine either. A quick review of the voting records for all of the legislators reveals that the Republicans, with few exceptions, voted to block passage of all relevant bills.
The Network’s assessment is focused in two areas. Mending the wealth and income gap, and Mending the Access Gap.
Mending the Wealth and Income Gap | Three sets of policies can help mend the U.S. wealth and income gap:
Tax Justice: Tax policy changes are made to reduce the income gap, especially the racial, ethnic and gender wealth gaps.
Living Wages: National legislation moves from adjusting a minimum wage to creating a living wage.
Family-Friendly Workplaces: The needs of women and families are integrated into federal work- place policies.
Mending the Access Gaps | Economic disparity has created perilous gaps in access to four key areas that burden daily lives and livelihoods:
Access to Democracy: No individual or community of color is disenfranchised by federal policy.
Access to Healthcare: Racial and economic disparities in healthcare are eliminated.
Access to Citizenship: Immigrants are welcomed into the country.
Access to Housing: Everyone has access to safe, affordable housing.
All of these issues are critical for our nation to work on. Yet the Republican leadership continues to focus on vote getting actions like stacking the federal courts, and bragging about blocking everything coming from the House. All in a vain, desperate, attempt to stay in office.
I know that there are policy areas where the Sisters and I will disagree. The most notable will be on right to life issues, and LGBTQ rights, to name a couple. But on the social issues that they are pursuing, I believe we are in agreement. I believe that is what our nation needs – make progress where you can, and continue principled discussion where you can’t.
So please, whatever state you are in, take a look at the report, and review the voting records of your representatives. If you believe that the gaps identified by the good sisters are real – vote accordingly. Remove the scalawags, and reward those fighting the good fight.
Maybe, just maybe, we can replace the obstructionist Senate, remove the Orange Monster, and get our nation back on track.
Thanks for coming to my blog. Please take the time to comment if you are so motivated. Luna and I read all comments. Thanks.
And Vote! Our democracy depends on it.