Legislation we’re loving

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Illustration: Emily Eberly/Oxfam America

Looking back on four years of political progress you and Oxfam helped make happen

The election year has just gotten under way, yet, somehow, it feels like we’ve been in this cycle for years. Perhaps that’s because we appear to be on trajectory to repeat the 2020 presidential election. Just because we’re seeing the same candidates running for president, doesn’t mean things haven’t changed. We’ve actually made great strides. Thanks to your support and engagement, alongside collaboration with partners and coalitions, we've been able to achieve significant progress towards reducing inequality. There’s a lot to love about the policy wins we have achieved.

Three issues we’re particularly sweet on:

Food security

Over the last four years, Oxfam called on the U.S. government to invest in a more sustainable and secure food system for everyone. That entails long-term solutions to food insecurity and expanding funding for life-saving food aid, investing in agriculture and rural development, improving access to education and health services, and addressing the effects of climate change on food systems.

Oxfam and our allies were instrumental in moving along these critical improvements:

  • Renewal of the Global Food Security Act
  • Increased funding for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Emergency funding for hunger relief in Ukraine
  • Emergency funding for COVID response in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

Climate Justice

We fought to protect the rights and livelihoods of people most affected by the climate crisis and advocate for government action to help communities cope with climate impacts and shift funding from fossil fuel subsidies to climate-friendly alternatives. We called on governments to aggressively fund sustainable climate solutions such as solar and wind energy.

Reasons to celebrate:

  • Over the last two years, Oxfam and allies helped stop fossil fuel companies and their friends in Congress from weakening the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We delivered 21,976 petition signatures to the Council on Environmental Quality, demanding the protection of NEPA and other important environmental justice laws. This summer, the White House made a vital advancement with the proposal of a new rule to streamline permitting for clean energy and other projects under NEPA that would require agencies to consider environmental justice and climate change in project reviews.
  • In 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act—the largest investment in clean energy and climate action—was signed into law, putting us on track to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by about 40 percent below 2005 by the year 2030.
  • Supplemental disaster aid was approved to help victims of hurricanes and wildfires throughout the country, to address the water crisis in Jackson, Miss., and to improve Puerto Rico’s electrical grid.

Economic Justice

Oxfam continued advocating for more equal economies, corporate accountability, and debt relief for low-income countries, as well as calling for investments in health care and education in the U.S. and globally. We also called on U.S. policymakers to strengthen protections for workers by raising the minimum wage, providing workplace safety requirements, and advocating for paid family and medical leave, paid sick days, and affordable childcare.

What we’re loving:

  • In his 2023 State of the Union address, President Biden proposed an economic agenda in his State of the Union Address calling for higher taxes on billionaires and corporations, echoing the message Oxfam has been spreading for years through our annual inequality report released each year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
  • Increased taxes on the rich/corporations closed tax loopholes and increased enforcement to ensure that big corporations and the super wealthy pay what they owe.
  • Oxfam’s Best States to Work Index helped call attention to states that have taken steps to better protect and support workers, and those who haven't. It is also featured as a resource on the Department of Labor’s website for workers, “Worker Organizing Resource and Knowledge Center

And now for the bittersweet

Despite these gains, policy has fallen short in a crucial area. In October, pandemic-era funding for child care expired, leaving countless working families without reliable, affordable childcare. Oxfam is calling on lawmakers to show they care, and to protect and strengthen policies that increase funding for child care, expand the Child Tax Credit, and ensure paid family and medical leave.

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