Domestic Social Development Legislation
The USCCB works to apply Catholic social teaching to domestic issues in the public policy arena by advocating on behalf of the poor and vulnerable on a wide range of legislative matters. The USCCB promotes family and child friendly policies, access to healthcare, reform of the welfare policies and addresses issues of poverty including housing and homelessness, hunger, labor and wage concerns. The USCCB works for the preservation of the environment with a particular emphasis on rural life issues. In addition, the USCCB monitors legislation dealing with individual dignity as governed by civil rights laws. We encourage you to visit the web site of the USCCB department of Domestic Social Development for more information.
Legislative Issues in the 110th Congress:
Access to Health Care:
Support legislation to expand health care coverage to the 45 million uninsured Americans; support legislation to improve the Medicaid program.
Assault Weapons Ban:
Support legislation to ban assault weapons.
Children’s Health and the Environment:
Support legislation that would fund research and track diseases to protect children, born and unborn, and other vulnerable populations, from environmental (indoors and outdoors) exposures that endanger their health.
Support legislation to address disparities resulting from unjust discrimination and bias in American life.
Support legislation that will assist released prisoners and help to reduce recidivism; support legislation to increase investment in community-based juvenile crime prevention programs.
Oppose legislation to expand the death penalty at the federal level; support legislation to limit the use of the death penalty.
Continue support for financial assistance to Church related and other charities as well as incentives for contributing to those entities. (DSD staff will work with General Counsel on “Conscience Protection: Religious Integrity Issues.”)
Farm Bill Reauthorization:
Support full funding of programs, such as the Conservation Security Program, which reward farmers and ranchers who practice good stewardship and environmental protection on land that is in active production; support provisions to target federal payments and other forms of agricultural support to small and moderate-size farms, especially minority-owned farms, to help them through difficult times caused by changes in global agricultural markets or weather patterns that destroy crops; support provisions to protect farm workers in the area of pesticides and other health and safety issues; support legislation to promote rural development, including policies that encourage a wide range of economic, sustainable development strategies; support funding for and improvements in Food Stamps and other nutrition programs.
Support legislation that would provide better living and working conditions for migrant farm workers; support legislation to allow undocumented migrant farm workers to earn the right to permanent resident status, along with their spouses and minor children. (Migration and Refugee Services is the lead USCCB office on this issue.)
Food & Nutrition:
Support legislation to provide sufficient funding for the Women, Infant and Children’s program (WIC) together with needed program improvements to ensure all eligible families receive these benefits. (See above under “Farm Bill” for food stamps).
Support legislation to establish a National Affordable Housing Trust Fund that would provide new resources to fund the development and maintenance of rental housing affordable to low income families; support legislation to end “predatory lending” practices that are discriminatory or put low income home buyers at a disadvantage; support legislation to reauthorize and improve homeless assistance programs “McKinney-Vento”.
Support legislation for raising the minimum wage to help full-time workers support themselves and their families.
Social Security Reform:
Oppose social security “reform” legislation that would decrease the income of low income recipients.
State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Reauthorization:
Support full funding and program improvements to the SCHIP program to provide access to health care for low income children.
Support legislation for improvements to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to help low income families through policies that effectively support work, strengthen marriage and family life, and sustain the needy and vulnerable among us, especially children and immigrants.
Support legislation to continue and improve federal unemployment insurance as needed.
Global Climate Change: (See International Justice and Peace priorities.)
Support legislation that would provide workers with paid sick leave; monitor legislation on labor law reform; oppose legislation that would erode work place protections including, but not limited to, the 40 hour work week, overtime, compensatory time, etc.