How might the 2018 midterm election results impact advocacy for children around the world? We have the answers for you, even if you weren't able to join our post-election conference call for expert analysis of the new U.S. Congress.
During the call, we highlighted advocacy successes and challenges from the past two years, offered a sneak peek at what’s ahead for 2019, and revealed two simple and important ways you can influence your leaders on behalf of children before the year ends. Listen to the audio above, and reference the timestamps below to move around within the call.
1:30 Lisa Bos – Summary of last week’s elections
- Big takeaway: A lot of change and a lot of new members. One in five members of Congress are new. That requires a lot of us in terms of advocacy, because it requires us to educate these new members on our issues.
- The Democrats now control the House. Republicans still control the Senate.
- Many of the MOCs who retired were major champions of our issues, so we hope some new members will take up that mantle.
4:00 Lisa Bos – What’s next
- We expect gridlock in the divided government, but hope for movement on these bipartisan pieces of legislation about our issues.
- The Democrats coming into the House committees that move these pieces of legislation forward are usually strong on our issues.
6:30 – Steve Reynolds – A look at our advocacy over the past Congress
- Advocacy helps scale World Vision’s work even farther by fighting the root causes of poverty and injustice.
- World Vision Advocacy focuses on ensuring safety, health, and opportunity for every child. The legislation we advocate for helps make those goals possible.
- Our advocates have sent 330,000 emails and made more than 900 calls on these issues! Thank you for your hard work.
10:00 – Steve Reynolds – Protecting foreign assistance
- How and why did World Vision advocates help protect foreign assistance from budget cuts?
- This has always been a bipartisan-supported fund, so cuts would have been very surprising.
- Over two years, our advocates reached out and Congress listened!
13:48 – Steve Reynolds – A rescissions victory!
- This was an obscure budget tactic that would freeze money that had already been approved.
- Our advocates sent 1,400 emails and 125 calls were made, all within a week. And it worked! The administration withdrew the plan.
- But the fight is not over – we need every voice to continue speaking up for this funding.
16:55 – Lisa Bos – What challenges have we faced getting legislation passed?
- Remember: When bills don’t get passed, they must be reintroduced in the next Congress and our advocacy starts anew.
- One such bill is the Reach Every Mother and Child Act, which World Vision helped write and develop. It focuses on ending preventable child and maternal deaths.
- Unfortunately, though the Act has gotten a lot of bipartisan support, we’ve struggled to get the bill a hearing. The issue is popular and noncontroversial – which can almost work against us in getting legislators to prioritize it.
21:23 – Lisa Bos – How have we been successful?
- The Global Food Security Act was reauthorized this year. This Act makes sure the Feed the Future program can keep helping families in developing countries improve and strengthen their agriculture livelihoods. Now 9 million more people are living above the poverty line!
- PEPFAR, or the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (a bipartisan initiative that started in 2003), was also reauthorized this year. The House has now passed their version of this bill, so it’s up to the Senate to act now before the end of the year. The programs funded by PEPFAR are vital to helping those living with and impacted by HIV/AIDS.
25:42 – Lisa Bos – What’s next?
- You’re not off the hook yet! Your voices are still needed in the 116th Congress.
- With all of these new members of Congress, we’ll need you to help them get up to speed on the issues that affect children and families living in poverty.
- We’ll still work on the Ending Violence Against Children resolution, the International Violence Against Women Act, the Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act, the Women's Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, and the Farm Bill. All of these would be nice to push across the finish line now, but many may have to start over next year.
29:45 – Cassie Paulsen – How can you act TODAY?
- Please make a phone call to your senator and ask them to reauthorize PEPFAR!
- Send a Christmas card to your representative and senators.
32:58 – Cassie Paulsen – Closing remarks and prayer
- We praise God for the advocates and politicians who have acted on these issues.
- Praying for unity within our government, especially when acting for children and families living in poverty.