Washington Update: Week of October 16

October 17, 2017
Washington Update

Budget & Appropriations (2017 Offering of Letters)

Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations

  • As of today, there are only 23 workdays remaining (and 15 in the House) until the continuing resolution measure funding the federal government runs out on Dec. 8.

Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Resolution

  • As early as Thursday, Oct. 19, the Senate could take up the FY 2018 budget resolution with the goal of advancing reconciliation instructions, which would allow Republicans to pass their $1.5 trillion tax bill by a simple majority without having to win any Democratic support.
  • The House adopted its budget resolution on Oct. 5. While the House budget resolution cut mandatory spending for low-income programs to pay for the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts, the Senate budget resolution does not include offsets.
  • The Senate budget resolution is likely to pass with moderate senators voting in favor in order to move the tax reform process along. Anytime the Senate votes on a budget resolution the amendment process called "voterama" occurs.
  • Bread for the World is concerned about amendments that cut humanitarian and development assistance, Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and other key programs that help poor and vulnerable populations. If the Senate budget resolution passes, the House and Senate will conference their bills and vote again.
  • Historically, large tax cuts like the one being debated by Congress, without increased revenue (or at least revenue neutral) lead to detrimental cuts to programs like SNAP, job-training, humanitarian and development assistance, and other key programs that protect poor and vulnerable people.

Food-Aid Reform

  • The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is holding a hearing on cargo preference and food-aid reform on Thursday, Oct. 19. Witnesses from Catholic Relief Services and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will testify. Bread also worked with AEI on a report they are releasing this week about the farm bill and food-aid reform. 

Criminal Justice Reform

  • Two weeks ago, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) reintroduced the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S.1917). Bread for the World supported SRCA last year and urged Congress to quickly pass this important sentencing and corrections legislation. The language of the reintroduced bill is the same as last year.
  • The House has only introduced the corrections aspect of the bill and is debating on whether to reintroduce the Sentencing Reform Act. 

Act Now!

The Senate is expected to vote on a budget resolution this week that will increase the deficit and provide $1.5 trillion in tax cuts to high-income individuals and corporations. This could result in deep cuts to domestic and international programs that work to end hunger and poverty.

Email your senators today. Urge them to reject budget cuts that increase hunger and poverty. 

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

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