Washington Update: Week of February 13

February 14, 2017
Washington Update

Budget & Appropriations

  • President Trump is expected to release a “skinny” budget proposal before Feb. 28 – the day he addresses both chambers of Congress. 
  • We are deeply concerned about drastic cuts to non-defense discretionary spending. Additionally, we believe that the budget will not continue budget parity between defense and non-defense spending. We are planning meetings with key appropriators in the following weeks to discuss the importance of non-defense discretionary spending.

Immigration

  • We are still urging Republicans in both the House and Senate to co-sponsor the BRIDGE Act (HR.496/S.128).
  • The BRIDGE (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act would protect undocumented young adults who qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
  • Many of these individuals, commonly referred to as “DREAMers,” were brought to the U.S. as children. The law would allow DREAMers to legally work and study in the U.S. More than 741,000 individuals are currently protected by DACA and would be impacted if it were rescinded by executive order under the Trump administration.

Affordable Care Act

  • We expect to see an Affordable Care Act (ACA) reconciliation bill in the next two weeks that will repeal key parts of Obamacare. We think that this reconciliation bill will also include instructions for how to replace the ACA.
  • As you may have seen on the news, Republicans are facing a great deal of pushback on ACA repeal. We are still urging members of Congress to have a replacement plan in place before repealing the ACA.

SNAP/Farm Bill

  • The House and Senate Agriculture committees are beginning to gear up for the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • The House Agriculture Committee will hold two hearings this week: Wednesday, Feb. 15 on the rural economy, and then Thursday, Feb. 16 on SNAP called “Pros and Cons of Restricting SNAP Purchases.”
  • The House Agriculture Committee spent much of the last two years holding SNAP hearings. Their findings were released in a December report. The report did not indicate that SNAP needed wholesale reform or gutting, but it did highlight areas for improvement.  However, one issue they did not address was restricting SNAP purchases.
  • The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold its first field hearing in Kansas on Feb. 23. Both Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) are expected to attend.

Act Now!

This is an important year for Congress to hear from constituents like you. The 2017 Offering of Letters: Doing Our Part to End Hunger is focused on urging Congress to make funding decisions that put us on track to end hunger by 2030. Watch the 60-second video introducing this year’s campaign and share it with your family, friends, or church. Find out more about the campaign at bread.org/ol.

You can subscribe to the content of Washington Update, delivered to you an email, in a newsletter called Fresh Bread.

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

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    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.

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  • Bread Newsletter January 2016

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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.

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  • 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.