Special Editor’s Note:
Washington Weekly is published regularly when Congress is session.
However, Catholic Charities USA wanted to inform you that, as Congress adjourned for the Memorial Day recess, President Bush signed into law the supplemental spending bill. This included an increase in the federal minimum wage, the first time it has been increased in over a decade. The bill signed into law also included $650 million to address the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) shortfalls expected this year in some states. Also, we wanted to inform you that a great step forward has been made in affordable housing. The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would establish an Affordable Housing Fund of $500 million a year through 2011, reserving funds for production of new housing and rehabilitation of existing housing for low income persons. In the first year, funding would specifically go towards rebuilding housing in the Gulf Coast for low-income persons. The Hensarling Amendment, which would have effectively excluded Catholic Charities and other organizations from using the housing trust fund to help low income families, was not included.
Increasing the minimum wage, improving SCHIP, and ensuring affordable housing are key items in Catholic Charities USA’s legislative agenda and Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America.. We thank you for responding to our action alerts urging Congress to increase the minimum wage, ensure access to health care for low-income children and approve the Affordable Housing Fund. Your efforts make a difference!
Washington Weekly is a publication of the Social Policy Department of Catholic Charities USA and is published regularly when Congress is in session.
Catholic Charities USA
1731 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
For information about advocacy, please contact Christin Driscoll at (703) 236-6245 or cdriscoll@catholiccharitiesusa