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and study in the U.S. More than 741,000 individuals are currently protected by DACA and would be impacted if it were rescinded by executive order under the Trump administration.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

  • The Nourishing Effect

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

  • Budget 101: Block Grants, Flexibility, and Per Capita Caps

    Recent congressional budget proposals and plans to reduce poverty include options for changing the structure of current social programs from “entitlements,” which provide sufficient funding to address the needs of everyone who meets the eligibility requirements to “block grants,” which provide...

  • Key African American Contributions to Ending Hunger and Poverty

    Leaders from the African-American community have helped our country and other nations inch ever closer to the goal of ending hunger and poverty by 2030. Key contributions by African-Americans throughout this century can be found below.

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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.

  • 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.
     

  • Interfaith Religious Leaders’ Pledge to End Hunger

    A wide array of the nation’s faith leaders have come together on the eve of Pope Francis’ arrival in the United States to commit ourselves to encourage our communities to work for the end of hunger by 2030 and, toward that end, for a shift in U.S. national priorities.

    We are deeply pleased...

For Advocacy