Washington Update: Week of December 4

December 5, 2017
Washington Update

Budget & Appropriations (2017 Offering of Letters)

  • The continuing resolution (CR) that was passed in August 2017 to fund the government through Dec. 8 will expire this week. In order to avoid a federal government shutdown, Congress must pass a funding bill by this Friday.
  • The House is expected to pass a two-week CR this week to give themselves more time to complete a year-end spending deal. The CR would extend to Dec. 22 and authorize the release of money to states running out of funds to run the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
  • Leadership is still trying to reach an agreement on topline numbers for defense and non-defense funding and need more time to negotiate. Democrats want parity between defense and non-defense spending, while Republicans want to increase defense spending by $54 billion and non-defense by $37 billion.
  • The year-end spending debate is being further complicated by demands from Democrats that Congress reauthorize CHIP and pass the Dream Act of 2017. Other hurdles include a demand by lawmakers from hurricane-ravaged Florida, Texas, and Louisiana for more disaster assistance from the federal government.


  • The Senate passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 by a 51-49 vote in the early morning hours on Dec. 2. The House plans to vote today on motions to go to conference on the tax-reform bill that was passed, setting the stage for talks between the two chambers to reconcile differences between the House and Senate tax bills. 

Act Now!

Call (800-826-3688) your senators and thank them if they voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or let them know you are disappointed if they voted for the legislation. See how your member voted here.

from our Resource Library

For Education

  • The Nourishing Effect

    Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.

  • Mass Incarceration: A Major Cause of Hunger

    Mass incarceration has far-reaching effects in the United States. It poses a significant barrier to ending U.S. hunger and poverty by 2030—a goal the United States adopted in 2015. But the connection is not always obvious.

  • Advancing Nutrition through Food Aid Reform

    The United States has long been a global leader in responding to humanitarian emergencies. Food assistance that includes nutritious food for pregnant women and young children is both a life-and-death matter for individuals and an economic imperative for countries.

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.


  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...

  • Health Care Is a Hunger Issue

    Learn more about the principles that Bread for the World supports regarding health reform.


Changing Climate, Changing Farmers

February 7, 2017


From the Blog