This week, World Vision Advocacy hosted a post-election conference call – What do the election results mean for World Vision programs, the type of work that we do, and our advocacy priorities moving forward?
More than 100 people signed up to join the call. If you missed it, listen below!
Recording begins at 2:25.
Here are some highlights –
Lisa Bos, Director of Government Relations provides an update on current advocacy issues; timestamp 8:15
As of Monday, Congress has entered the Lame Duck session, but there are still things they need to accomplish and we want them to accomplish. Here are the must-dos:
- Finish the appropriations process. Congress is currently operating under a continuing resolution that expires on December 9.
- Within appropriations, we are looking closely at the State and Foreign Operations bill, which includes humanitarian funding [action expired] for places like Syria and South Sudan, maternal and child health programs, as well as nutrition programs – many of the programs you have advocated for this past year!
- Another appropriations bill we are watching closely is the Labor, Health and Human Services bill and International Labor Affairs Bureau that it funds – a department that provides grants to fight child labor. The Senate has supported strong funding for this bill, but the House has not.
- The Education for All Act [action expired] has passed in the House, but the Senate has not yet acted. However, as of last Thursday, we have heard that the Senate intends to move forward with this bill soon.
- The Reach Every Mother and Child Act has reached an incredible number of cosponsors at 216, just two short of the target for this year of 218 (more than half of the House). We don’t expect the bill to move forward this year but are excited to have set the stage for early action next congress.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Phillippians 4:4-6 (NIV)
Bob Zachritz, Vice President of Advocacy and Government Relations shares what we know and what the election results may mean; timestamp 14:25
World Vision engages in the political process on issues that drive our Christian mission to serve the poor and the vulnerable. We will also speak out at times on systematic injustices that can create poverty.
- Long before election results, World Vision was working with partners in the United States Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) and speaking with people from both candidates’ teams.
- International development programs are in the U.S.’ economic interests, national security interests, and represent best interests of the American people.
Key Takeaways; timestamp 18:12
- During the election four out of five people were concerned about foreign policy, saying it was either important or very important. However, this means different things for different people.
- The election results mean that the U.S. joins the rising populous tide around the world.
- Trump ran on an unconventional foreign policy platform, countering traditional GOP foreign policy. He spoke positively about humanitarian responses, programs to fight HIV/AIDS, and programs that support clean water, but also said we don’t want to give foreign aid to ‘countries that hate us,’ leaving many questions to be answered.
- Vice President Pence will likely be the key liaison with Congress. He is a former member of House Foreign Affairs committee, a religious conservative, and a PEPFAR supporter under George W. Bush.
- Many members of Congress support global engagement.
- Foreign Assistance has not been a key issue either way. An early opportunity to bring this to the table is humanitarian assistance for places like Syria [action expired].
Opportunities: We see in this administration openness to partner with faith-based organizations. Further, President-elect Trump has not yet defined himself on many issues related to our work, which means there is room to educate and influence.
Challenges: There are big picture budget conversations. We hear people say they support Global AIDS or malaria programs, but also that they want to cut the foreign assistance budget. Trump will bring in people with a business mindset – we need to tell the story of what is working well and illustrate the issue in terms of rate of return.
Lisa Bos; Timestamp 24:30
It is important to remember the influence of members of Congress as well. They will be able to influence outcomes. Many champions for international development issues retained their seats.
To hear more details on what was said above, as well as ways you can get involved and questions from advocates, listen to the recording! If you have any questions, post them in the comments and we will be sure to answer them for you.
Recording begins at 2:25.
Photo: ©2008 World Vision/ photo by Cassie Rosch