July 1, 2002
Background: Now that the Senate Finance Committee has approved key provisions of the Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Act, the next step for the CARE Act is a vote by the full Senate. The CARE Act (S. 1924) is a bipartisan bill sponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Rick Santorum (R-PA) that will provide crucial resources to the faith-based and secular charities that serve our needy brothers and sisters, through provisions that include:
- Tax-code changes to allow non-itemizers to take a tax deduction for a portion of their charitable contributions (a proposal long supported by the Conference);
- Funding for a Compassion Capital fund to provide technical assistance to small charities; and,
- Significant additional resources for the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) program and the Second Chance/Maternity Group Homes to enable religious and secular charities to provide needed social services.
Next Steps: It is very important that Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle schedule time for the full Senate to consider and vote on the CARE Act as early in July as possible. When the Senate returns from it's Fourth of July recess, it will have a lot of business to complete before the session ends: the reauthorization of the TANF welfare program; legislation creating a new Homeland Security agency; legislation addressing the corporate accounting scandals; and 13 appropriations bills to fund the government next year, to name just a few. The longer action on the CARE Act is put off, the greater the risk the Senate simply won't have time to get to it.
Action Requested: Senators will be home in their states the week of July 1 for the Fourth of July recess. Many will be attending town hall forums, site visits, events, and making other public appearances, or will be available for visits in their local offices. Use every opportunity to contact your Senators, whether in person, by phone or by fax, and deliver these messages:
- Urge your Senators to support and cosponsor the CARE Act. If your Senator is already a cosponsor, thank him or her:
CARE Act cosponsors: Allard (CO), Bayh (IN), Bond, (MO) Brownback (KS), Carnahan (MO), Cleland (GA), Clinton (NY), Cochran (MS), Crapo (ID), DeWine (OH), Domenici (NM), Frist (TN), Hagel (NE), Hatch (UT), Hutchinson, T (AR), Hutchison, K (TX), Johnson (SD), Lieberman (CT), Lugar (IN), Miller (GA), Nelson (FL), Santorum (PA), Sessions (AL), Torricelli (NJ), Warner (VA)
- Urge your Senators especially current cosponsors and those who agree to become cosponsors to tell Majority Leader Daschle it's essential for the Senate to take up the CARE Act in early July, when they get back from the Fourth of July recess.
For more information, contact Kathy Curran at 202-541-3188, firstname.lastname@example.org.