UK passes landmark law on vulture funds

April 13, 2010

Abundant Life: Economic Justice for AllLast week a landmark bill to protect the world’s poorest countries from profiteering by vulture funds became law in the UK. The Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Bill is the world’s first law to restrict the ability of Vulture Funds to sue some of the world’s poorest countries for full repayment of debts that they have bought up cheaply.

In the United States, Jubilee USA Network, of which MCC is a member, continues its campaign to stop Vulture Funds from preying on impoverished countries.

The Stop VULTURE Funds Act (HR 2932) is a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would prevent vulture funds from making excessive profit off the debt of the world’s poorest nations. The bill was re-introduced by Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Spencer Bachus (R-AL). Click here to send an email in support of the bill.

The “Killing Fields” of Juarez

April 5, 2010

Abundant Life: Economic Justice for AllOn April 1, 2010 NPR aired an interview with Charles Bowden, a journalist, who has written a book (Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields) about the violence in Cuidad Juarez, a Mexican city riddled with drug related killings.

Bowden criticizes U.S. policy toward Mexico and calls for the re-examination of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Listen to the interview>>

Participate in the Abundant Life campaign and advocate for trade justice>>

Support the TRADE Act

March 26, 2010

Abundant Life: Economic Justice for AllThe Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act provides a framework for re-evaluating and re-shaping U.S. trade policy so that it serves the common good by providing stable jobs, environmental protections, public health and poverty reduction. The bill sets standards for what must and must not be included in future trade agreements, and requires a comprehensive review of existing trade agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA that are failing to serve the most vulnerable in the U.S. and countries in the global South.

This bill was introduced by Rep. Mike Michaud (Maine) in the House as H.R. 3012 and by Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) in the Senate as S. 2821. There are currently 139 cosponsors in the House and seven cosponsors in the Senate.

  • Send a letter to your Senators encouraging them to co-sponsor S.2821.
  • Join the Abundant Life campaign.

Congress Passes Final Health Reform Bill

March 26, 2010

“Change is never easy, but it’s always possible”

Abundant Life: Economic Justice for AllThe final votes in the long, arduous health care debate came on Thursday. The Senate passed the bill of “fixes” to their health care reform package in the afternoon. Then, because two small changes were made to the legislation, it went back to the House where it passed 220-207 Thursday night.

As President Obama stated in a speech in Iowa, this marks the culmination of “a year of debate, a century of trying” to improve access to health care in a nation where 1 in 6 do not have health insurance.

[W]hat this struggle has taught us — about ourselves and about this country — is so much bigger than any one issue, because it’s reminded us … that change is never easy, but it’s always possible. It comes not from the halls of power, but from the hearts of our people. Amid setbacks, it requires perseverance. Amid calls for delay, it requires the fierce urgency of now. In the face of unrelenting cynicism, it requires unyielding hope.

Read the rest of this entry »

Health Care Reform: Final Votes Could Come Today

March 25, 2010

Abundant Life: Economic Justice for AllEarly this morning, the Senate parliamentarian upheld two Republican “points of order” on provisions of the bill relating to student loans.  Because this will change the bill, it will now need to go back to the House for approval of these changes. The Senate resumes this morning, with additional amendments and points of order objections expected before it moves to a final vote, currently expected around 2pm. The House could take up the revised bill tonight.  (Read more.)

Yesterday, President Obama signed an executive order clarifying that provisions in the health care reform package would not alter current federal law which prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother.

On Tuesday, Mennonite Mutual Aid released a statement on the reform bill.

* Action Alert: Pray and Act for Health Care Reform *

For additional resources on health care reform, visit the Abundant Life health care page.

Senate Health Bill Signed Into Law

March 24, 2010

* Action Alert: Pray and Act for Health Care Reform *

Yesterday, President Obama signed the Senate health care bill, HR 3590, into law (watch on C-Span).

At the same time, the Senate began its debate on a reconciliation package of “fixes,” HR 4872, which was passed by the House along with the Senate bill on Sunday.

Abundant Life: Economic Justice for AllRepublicans are expected to bring up numerous amendments and “points of order” (which could delete small provisions in the bill if they are deemed out of line with rules regarding what can be done under budget reconciliation). If the bill is changed at all, it will have to be sent back to the House for one more vote.

Democratic leaders may, at some point, attempt to stop the flow of amendments by ruling any further amendments “dilatory.” A final vote in the Senate could come as early as Thursday.

* Action Alert: Pray and Act for Health Care Reform *

The Luckiest Nut in the World

March 22, 2010

Abundant Life: Economic Justice for AllCheck out this short film about free trade. The film follows an animated American peanut, who sings about the difficulties of nuts from developing countries. The film helps people to see how the pressure to embrace “free market” economics, with its promise of a wealthy, abundant market place has actually driven many countries further into poverty.

Join our campaign for an Abundant Life and advocate for trade policies that work to advance the common good.


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