Moms Of Faith

Posts Tagged ‘Congress

Nearly three years ago, the US Congress declared the tragedy in Darfur, Sudan to be genocide. Yet here we are, nearing the end of 2007 and still our leaders have done nothing to stop the genocide. We need to get our Congress’ attention on the suffering in Darfur and how the United States can help bring all of this suffering to an end.Congress is crucial in approving funds for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid in Darfur, as well as implementing sanctions against the Sudanese government. On October 17, 2007, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee unanimously passed
the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act (SADA) by a vote of 21-0.

SaveDarfur.org’s blog reads:

In early 2003, long-standing tensions in Darfur erupted into what the U.S. government later described as the first genocide of the 21st century soon after local rebel groups took up arms against the Khartoum-based regime of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Their reasons for rebelling were relatively simple: they rightly felt marginalized by their government, saw that rebels in southern Sudan were likely to be granted major economic and political concessions as their own civil war against Khartoum ran down, and realized that they themselves were being left out in the literal and figurative desert with no hope of similar concessions or improved conditions in sight. An oil fueled economic boom was producing sky-scrapers in Khartoum, and meanwhile Darfur continued to exist largely without roads, hospitals, or a sufficient education system, and was suffering through a brutal drought.

Following a few initial conventional battles with new rebel groups in Darfur, the Khartoum regime switched tactics and began to fight a hate-fueled counter insurgency war in Darfur by funding, arming, and unleashing the proxy militias known as Janjaweed, who came from tribes which identify themselves as “Arab,” on the villages associated with the rebels, which came from tribes who identify themselves as “African.” This strategy depended on exploiting this self-proclaimed racial divide in Darfur, and it worked, despite the fact that both “Arab” and “African” Darfurians are Muslim, speak Arabic, and share the same skin tone. The result was an undisciplined paramilitary campaign which targeted men, women, and children alike.

Since this genocidal campaign began in early 2003, over 2,000 villages have been burnt, up to 400,000 people have been killed, and approximately 2.5 million more have been forced from their homes and into the Sahara desert. Horrific stories of mass rape, murder, and unspeakable atrocities have become commonplace. Survivors have gathered in IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps throughout Darfur, and in refugee camps across the border in eastern Chad and in the Central African Republic, waiting for conflict to end so that they can rebuild their lives, hoping that someone will help them.

Visit SaveDarfur.org to learn more about what YOU can do to help.

Shop and Help support the work going on to save Darfur.

Yesterday our Congress passed the SECOND SCHIP bill, a revision of the one President Bush vetoed this month, with the votes standing at 265-142. Once again Bush has promised to use his veto power to squash this bill. The White House was quoted after the last veto as saying “This bill does not address in a meaningful way the concerns the president raised, and so he will veto it if it reaches his desk.” This bill would have expanded the current program by almost $35 million over the course of five years. The second bill would have tightened restrictions on illegal immigrants; would cap the income levels of families who qualify for SCHIP; and would prevent adults from being covered.
For those of you who wonder what all the fuss is about please allow me to break it down for you.
Schip is a national program in the United States that provides health insurance for families who earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid, yet cannot afford to buy private insurance. The program was created to address the growing number of children in the United States without health insurance. At its creation in 1997, SCHIP was the largest expansion of health insurance coverage for children in the United States since Medicaid began in the 1960s. SCHIP covered 6.9 million children at some point during Federal fiscal year 2006, and every state has an approved plan. States are given flexibility, and an enhanced match is paid to states. Some states use SCHIP funds to cover the parents of children receiving benefits from both SCHIP and Medicaid, pregnant women, and other adults. However, the program is already facing funding shortfalls in several states. Despite SCHIP, the number of uninsured children continues to rise, particularly among families that cannot qualify for SCHIP. An October 2007 study by the Vimo Research Group found that 68.7 percent of newly uninsured children were from families 200 percent above the federal poverty level.** *


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