Washington Update: Week of December 5

December 6, 2016
Washington Update

Preparing for What Comes Next

While we continue to wait on Congress to make last-minute funding decisions before the lame duck session ends, Bread for the World is already preparing for next year. We know it will be a tough year given the priorities of the new president-elect and new Congress.

However, we are steadfast in our commitment to challenging any proposed cuts to domestic and international anti-poverty programs. These programs are a lifeline to millions of people here and abroad. Deep program cuts would only drive more people into poverty. That would be a tragedy given the fact that our country and the world have made substantial progress against hunger and poverty over the last several decades.

In fact, in 2016, we convinced our legislators to pass a $7.6 billion world hunger bill. The law will benefit many of the more than 795 million chronically malnourished people, including 159 million children, as well as nearly 7 million farmers in developing countries.

Let’s not despair about the tough road ahead. Remember, God is always active in history on the side of the widows, the orphans, and the immigrants, and people who are hungry.

Thank you for your persistent and faithful advocacy.

-Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World

Budget & Appropriations

  • The Senate is working on passing a continuing resolution (CR) this week in order to avoid a government shutdown on Dec. 9. The Senate is still determining what the CR will include and how long it will continue to automatically fund the government. The House will likely take up the Senate version of the CR next week.
  • Congressional Republicans are already working on a budget reconciliation bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Trump administration has signaled that they would like to sign it on Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, 2017.  Bread has taken the stance that a well thought-out replacement for the ACA must be agreed upon before the healthcare legislation is repealed. This is the most responsible thing to do.

Criminal Justice Reform

  • Criminal justice reform is not likely to move during the lame duck session. We hope Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) will allow a vote on the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act and that it can pass under suspension.
  • We have meetings this week with staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R- Iowa) and Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) to discuss our priorities for next session.

Fresh Bread in the 115th Congress

The 115th Congress will start in early January 2017. As with the 114th Congress, Fresh Bread will continue to be published while the U.S. Congress is in session.

Act Now!

As Christians, we believe that our government has the moral duty to pass laws that will not increase hunger and poverty. Repealing the Affordable Care Act can lead to millions of Americans having to choose between paying for food or paying for their medication. 

Call (800-826-3688) your representative and senators, and urge them to not repeal the Affordable Care Act without having a responsible replacement.  

from our Resource Library

For Education

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    A brief examination of the biblical approach to health as a hunger issue.

    Includes an introduction to the issue, a Scriptural reflection, practical actions you can take, and a prayer.

  • 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...

  • Bread Newsletter January 2016

    In this issue: Another Great Year for Bread; Catholics Begin Observance of Holy Year of Mercy; Serving on ‘God’s Wave Length’ for 39 Years; and more.

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.


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