ELCA Advocacy Update for the month of January. Please read below for important information on ELCA Advocacy efforts in Washington, across the country and throughout the world. To read the full version of the update and for more information on advocacy efforts from our Lutheran State Advocacy offices, including Mark Carlson’s update from California, visit ELCA Advocacy’s Blog!
ELCA Advocacy, Washington D.C.
#FOR SUCH A TIME: The January day to #PrayFastAct is Sunday, Jan. 21! This month, we are mindful of major programs that help curb poverty, namely Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, and the good they provide for those in the greatest need. People of faith have been champions and voices of support for anti-poverty programs for decades, which continue to serve as a backstop to ensure a minimum level quality of life and security. Be on the lookout for a shared statement from ELCA Advocacy and the Episcopal Church later this month!
HUNGER AND THE FARM BILL: Lutherans from across the country will travel to Washington, D.C., in January for the annual ELCA World Hunger Leadership Gathering to discuss and take action to address the impact of hunger in communities. The event occurs as lawmakers begin to discuss reauthorizing the Farm Bill, legislation that sets critical agricultural, conservation, energy, rural and hunger policies. While hunger leaders meet with their lawmakers on January 23, ELCA Advocacy will encourage our national advocacy network to stand in solidarity with these advocates by contacting Congress via the Advocacy Action Center.
RENEWING CHIP HEALTH CARE: On Sept. 30, 2017, Congress failed to reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which helps provide critical medical care for children in low-income families. With reserves running low, states are beginning to limit coverage to basic, quality health insurance coverage, putting some 9 million children across our country at risk. Shortly before Christmas, ELCA Advocacy shared an action alert encouraging lawmakers to renew the program and sustain health care for the many children who need essential care. As Congress continues to debate a final spending extension, this month is a critical time for advocates to reach out to their lawmakers.
TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS: The Administration ended Temporary Protected Status (TPS), an immigration status meant to protect citizens from other countries present in the U.S. when a tragedy strikes in their country, for Salvadorans in early January. This decision affects over 200,000 TPS holders, many with U.S. citizen children, who have lived legally in the U.S. for years. ELCA Advocacy released a statement highlighting our deep disappointment with the decision and calling on Congress to pass legislation to protect TPS holders. We are concerned that TPS for Honduran citizens will also be taken away in May.