Washington Update: Week of May 1

May 2, 2017
Washington Update

Budget & Appropriations

  • Last week, Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution through Friday, May 5 to allow them time to finalize an omnibus spending bill. The omnibus spending bill was released Sunday night and is expected to pass Congress this week. It will fund the government through September 30, the end of the 2017 fiscal year.
  • The $1.1 trillion compromise omnibus spending bill is a win for anti-hunger advocates. Not only are most domestic and international programs we track fully funded, but the bill also includes more than $1 billion in famine relief.
  • There are a few wins for the Trump administration: $15 billion in defense spending as well as $1.5 billion for border security that cannot be used for a border wall. Several of the programs the administration proposed cutting or zeroing out have received full funding or in other cases seen increases in funding. Below is a summary of funding for some of Bread for the World’s key programs.

International

  • $1.466 billion in base funding for Food for Peace and a one-time $134 million increase to address famine crises around the world.
  • $202 million for McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. This is level funding compared to fiscal year 2016. The Trump administration has proposed eliminating this program.
  • $3.05 billion for Global Health Programs (USAID), a $220 million increase from fiscal year 2016.
  • $125 million for maternal and child nutrition programs, flat funding from fiscal year 2016.
  • $2.9 billion for development assistance, a $210 million increase from fiscal year 2016.
  • $3.8 billion for International Disaster Assistance, of which $990 million is to address the famine crises in Africa and the Middle East.

Domestic

  • $6.35 billion for WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children), level funding from fiscal year 2016. Includes a $850 million cut in carry over funding from previous years. This cut would not impact current caseload.
  • Provides summer meals funding through the Summer Food Service Program and continues the summer EBT pilot projects at $23 million. This is the same amount provided for summer EBT in fiscal year 2016.
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) received $3.4 billion, the same as fiscal year 2016. The Trump administration has proposed eliminating this program.
  • The Child Care and Development Block Grant received a $95 million increase and the Community Development received the same funding as fiscal year 2016. These programs were also targets for cuts by the Trump administration.
  • Seniors’ Nutrition Programs also received an additional $3 million in funding over fiscal year 2016 levels.
  • The Department of Homeland Security appropriations budget also includes $341 million for replacement of current border barrier and adding additional border security technology.

American Health Care Act

  • Last week, we narrowly avoided a vote on the American Health Care Act, which still includes provisions to per-capita-cap Medicaid and cuts the Medicaid expansion.
  • We have heard that a vote on health care is likely to occur as early as this Wednesday. President Trump is eager to get health care off his plate so he can move on to tax reform.

Raising Awareness About Hunger

  • Bread’s government relations intern recently decided to participate in the SNAP Challenge. Read what she learned from the experience here.

Act Now!

This week Congress has two important votes that will impact hungry and impoverished people in the U.S. and abroad. Call and tell Congress to make decisions that put us on track to end hunger by 2030. Specifically, tell your members of Congress to:

  • Vote YES on the fiscal year 2017 omnibus spending bill. If passed, this bill will decrease hunger in famine stricken countries and ensure that food insecure households in the U.S. can continue to access critical programs like WIC and summer meals. 
  • Vote NO on the American Health Care Act. If passed, this bill will increase hunger in America. An $880 billion dollar cut to Medicaid will increase hunger and poverty for America’s most vulnerable.

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Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

For Faith

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

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    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.