The legislative landscape in the 118th Congress has been marked by political gridlock and the historic turnover in the House Speaker's Office, but there also has been notable legislative movement on several priority issues in the form of amendments to must-pass legislation. With major elections on the horizon, the opportunity to enact critical legislation is diminishing.
With Congress deliberating government funding, border security, and foreign aid during this Second Session of the 118th Congress, the ABA's Governmental Affairs Office is collaborating with ABA leaders and members to identify opportunities for legal advocacy on these issues:
Approaching Deadlines and Funding Challenges: Congress faces imminent deadlines, with the potential for a partial government shutdown looming if FY 2024 appropriations bills are not passed soon. The ABA is particularly focused on ensuring robust funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Funding for LSC will be a major issue during our ABA Day in Washington advocacy event on April10 and 11, and it will continue to be a marquee issue for the remainder of the year. If you want to get a jump-start and convey your support for LSC funding now, we have a template letter that may be modified and transmitted to your members available on our digital advocacy website that is available to ABA members for members and is guaranteed to make it through congressional firewalls. Click here to send in it seconds or take a moment to personalize it for more impact.
Federal Defender Services at a Crossroads: The proposed budget cuts to the Federal Defender Services program threatens the core principle of the right to counsel, established in Gideon v. Wainwright. The ABA is actively lobbying against these cuts, emphasizing their detrimental impact on the justice system, and advocating for sufficient funding to maintain this critical service. Want to do your part? Send this letter to your members of Congress, telling them that these cuts will hurt access to justice for your community.