Washington Update: Week of November 6

November 7, 2017
Washington Update

Budget & Appropriations (2017 Offering of Letters)

  • The debate over how to address the status of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients is creating a hurdle in the appropriations process.
  • Recently, President Trump informed a group of Republican lawmakers that he opposes any effort to include language to shield “Dreamers” from deportation in the upcoming year-end spending legislation. 
  • This will likely complicate final negotiations with congressional Democrats. Democratic leaders in both chambers have called for protections for “Dreamers” by the end of the year, and the spending bill is the most likely place to settle an otherwise difficult complicated debate.
  • In September, President Trump agreed with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.-12) to move a border security bill by year’s end, and pair it with legislation that would provide a pathway to citizenship for the young immigrants. Schumer declined to comment on the president’s meeting with Republican members.  He said protections for the “Dreamers” could still clear Congress this year. 
  • Republicans will need Democrat votes in order to pass year-end spending bills, raise the budget caps, and address the debt ceiling. 


  • Last Thursday, Nov. 2, the House Committee on Ways and Means released H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This bill provides $1.5 trillion in tax cuts to mostly high-income wage earners and corporations. 
  • The proposal fails all of Bread for the World’s tax priorities. We are especially concerned about a harmful provision that will eliminate the child tax credit (CTC) for low-income immigrant families, specifically 3 million children in mixed-status families. Without this credit, families may not be able to pay for basic needs such as food. Children will go hungry and lack the resources they need to stay healthy and prepare for their future.
  • Additionally, H.R. 1 eliminates the New Markets Tax Credit and Work Opportunity Tax Credit (NMTC). The NMTC has done more to reduce the number of food deserts than any other program to date, and more than 72 percent of all NMTC investments have been in communities exhibiting severe hunger.
  • The House Committee on Ways and Means is currently considering H.R. 1, with plans to complete its work by late Wednesday, Nov. 8 and bring it to the House floor the following week.
  • The Senate is not moving as quickly, but the Senate Finance Committee may work on its version of a tax cut bill starting the week of Nov. 13. While they hope to finish and get it to the Senate floor before Thanksgiving, floor debate could easily slip until after the Thanksgiving recess.
  • The Senate’s bill is subject to reconciliation rules, as provided in the budget resolution. In addition, it cannot be filibustered, and therefore can pass with only a simple majority of 51 votes. The leadership hopes to get a final tax bill to President Trump’s desk before Christmas. It’s unclear whether that will happen.

Farm Bill

  • The House Agriculture Committee staff is close to finishing drafting the Farm Bill. However, Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas-11) will not release the bill until he is guaranteed floor time for its consideration. 
  • We now believe that the House will not consider the Farm Bill until February or March 2018.  It is also uncertain as to when the Senate Agriculture Committee will consider its version. But it is unlikely that the Senate bill will move before spring 2018. 

Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act

  • This week, the Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act (HFAAA) will be introduced in the House. HFAAA provides tax incentives for grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and other fresh food vendors to locate in food deserts, in both urban and rural areas. Bread for the World supports this legislation.
  • This bill, S.1724, was introduced in the Senate earlier this year by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.). Cosponsors include Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). In the House, the sponsors for this legislation with be Reps. Tim Ryan (R-Ohio-13), Don McEachin (D-Va.-04), and Dwight Evans (D-Pa.-02).

Act Now!

Call (800-826-3688) your members of Congress and urge them to reject H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This bill provides massive tax cuts that will be paid for by cuts to low-income programs and the safety net. 

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