Legislative Priorities for the 113th Congress
Help set priorities for FCNL's work in the 114th session of Congress
A distinctive feature of the Friends Committee on National Legislation is our practice of asking Quakers around the country to help shape our work.Right now, we need your help to identify the issues that most need close attention from Friends around the country and from FCNL's staff over the next few years.
Responses are due by April 15, 2014.
The FCNL General Committee, or board of governors, determines the legislative policy and priorities of the organization. For each session of Congress, it identifies priorities: a set of issues, drawn from the Policy Statement, on which staff is expected to focus time, energy and resources.
Approved by the General Committee on November 17, 2012.
The Friends Committee on National Legislation seeks to bring spiritual values and Friends' testimonies to bear on public policy decisions. FCNL solicited the views and concerns of Quaker meetings, churches and organizations around the country to discern the following priorities for our lobbying and public education work during the 113th Congress (2013-2014).
FCNL's work will be based on legislative opportunity, specific expertise and leadings, and available resources. FCNL's Policy Statement gives it the flexibility to respond to crises and to other important legislative opportunities.
During the 113th Congress, FCNL staff and our wider community will focus on strategies to:
- Reduce the influence of money in political and electoral processes.
- Increase U.S. government capacity for peaceful prevention and resolution of deadly conflict. Promote regional and international diplomacy, particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Prevent war with Iran.
- Promote nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation.Eliminate drone attacks.
- Reduce U.S. military operations and bases around the world. Cut military spending while supporting programs for veterans.
- Restore and strengthen programs that prevent and mitigate poverty and that improve access to education, training, health care and jobs.
- Support progressive tax structures to address poverty and economic disparity.
- Promote fair, humane and demilitarized immigration policies.
- Safeguard the natural world. Support solutions to counter and mitigate global climate disruption and assist threatened human populations at home and abroad.
- Transform U.S. energy policy to support the development and use of safe and sustainable energy sources.
- Support efforts that respect the tribal sovereignty of Native Americans and indigenous peoples, enhance their well-being and honor treaty commitments.
- Promote civil liberties and human rights, especially those undermined in the name of combating terrorism. Eliminate torture and suppression of dissent.
- Reform drug policies that have led to mass incarceration and contribute to institutionalized racism.
The General Committee of FCNL calls upon its members, other Friends and those who share our concerns to work on these issues. In addition to the priorities that FCNL has the resources to address, many other deeply held concerns will continue to receive attention from individual Friends, monthly meetings and churches, yearly meetings and other Quaker organizations.
As we work to find solutions to complex problems, Friends seek divine guidance and ask for renewed strength and hope.