What We're Achieving Together
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This list of successes are current as of March 2014. Get a printable version
Your support makes this work possible. Please donate today. Thanks to your lobbying and financial support, here’s what we've accomplished:
FCNL has helped persuade Congress to keep the door open for diplomacy with Iran through more than 100 lobby visits, thousands of messages to Congress and more than 100 published letters to the editor since September 2013. In the fall, the U.S. helped reach an agreement with Iran, but some in Congress are still pressing for more sanctions. This January, FCNL helped stop a Senate sanctions vote, and we built support for a letter signed by 104 representatives to give diplomacy a chance.
FCNL has helped convince Congress that the Pentagon budget should not be exempt from cuts. The January 2014 funding bill keeps Pentagon spending on a path to reduce its budget by $850 billion over 10 years. Yet Pentagon spending is still at or near the same levels as at the height of the Cold War, and President Obama is proposing budget increases in 2015. We have more work to do with Congress.
During the February 2014 congressional recess, 40 delegations of FCNL constituents met with representatives urging repeal of the law that been the legal basis for war, deadly drone attacks, detention at Guantanamo Bay and warrantless wiretapping-the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force. Last summer, we helped convince 185 representatives to vote to repeal this law-just 33 short of passage. As skepticism grows in Congress about the endless war strategy, we are working towards another vote on repeal this summer.
Spurred in the fall of 2013 by an administration official’s request for information, FCNL rallied nonprofits, aid groups and religious organizations to mobilize the U.S. government to engage meaningfully in efforts to halt violence and protect civilians in the Central African Republic. The results of this work include the administration’s pledge to provide up to $101 million as part of international efforts to stabilize the country and protect civilians. This crisis is still unfolding, making it even more critical that FCNL and our colleagues continue to encourage the U.S. to use the violence prevention tools at its disposal.
In just the first two months of 2014, FCNL constituents wrote 185 letters-to-the-editor that were published in local newspapers. The power of these letters to influence members of Congress is reinforced by a continued string of op-eds authored by FCNL staff in publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Roll Call, CNN, US News and World Report and Fox News.
FCNL helped organize a letter signed by 18 national religious organizations, including Methodists, Presbyterians, Muslims, Mennonites, Disciples and several Catholic organizations and religious orders, urging Congress to take charge of the rules that govern campaign spending. Four years after the Citizens United decision, we are urging members to cosponsor legislation calling for a constitutional amendment that would restore congressional power to regulate campaign spending.
FCNL's advocacy helped ensure that funding legislation signed into law in January increases our country's investment in securing stockpiles of bomb-grade nuclear material around the world. In an era of federal budget cuts, this increased investment is a real success. We will continues to vigorously advocate for these programs as they face new potential cuts this year.
The Smarter Sentencing Act would halve the length of mandatory sentences, give judges more discretion on sentences for many drug offenses and allow thousands of federal prisoners to seek fairer sentences. That legislation cleared a significant hurdle in January when it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee with FCNL's active support. We continue to advocate for its passage, even as we work to remove language that would require new mandatory minimum sentences for some non-drug offenses.
Faith leaders have a special role to play in breaking the deadlock that surrounds the climate debate in Congress. FCNL is providing legislative leadership to help national faith organizations, including Catholic, Jewish and Evangelical groups, encourage lawmakers to acknowledge the danger posed by climate disruption and then to support legislation to require the U.S. government to act.
FCNL is working with the Interfaith Immigration Coalition to ensure that legislation provides a practical, legal way for immigrants to move to this country, while respecting the labor rights and civil rights of all. We were disappointed by the punitive measures included in both Senate and House immigration bills and continue to advocate for compassionate, comprehensive reform.