Federal budget: Just before wrapping up in December, Congress passed a “continuing resolution” to keep the government funded through January 19. Annual spending is currently limited by caps put in place in 2011. Most members of Congress say support raising the cap on military spending, despite an already-steep $600 billion Pentagon budget. Yet to be seen is whether the caps for non-defense programs will also be increased. Read more: The Pentagon is not a sacred cow.
Immigration: Despite extraordinary advocacy that included fasting, marches, sit-ins and civil disobedience, Congress adjourned for the year without protecting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients. A bipartisan group of senators is reportedly working to create a compromise bill; however, concerns persist that it will include additional border security and harmful changes to the asylum and family immigration systems. Take action.
Jerusalem: On December 6, President Trump announced that the U.S. officially recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, without any corresponding acknowledgment of the city’s significance for Palestinians. The U.S. then vetoed a UN Security Council resolution. A similar measure in the UN General Assembly passed easily, despite U.S. threats. Read more: Statement by heads of churches in Jerusalem | How to save Jerusalem and bring peace to the Middle East
A New Year’s resolution for diplomacy (North Korea)
Intersections newsletter: Overcoming the Doctrine of Discovery
January 13 and 19: Faithful Advocacy for Criminal Justice Reform (Lancaster, Pa.) event | Register here.
January 15: Mass Incarceration Service Day (Philadelphia). Register or donate items for prison care kits here.
April 3-5: ACT Now: Unite to end racism rally and events, Washington, D.C.
April 20-23: Plan now to attend Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C. This year’s theme is “A world uprooted: Responding to migrants, refugees and displaced peoples.”