Washington Update: Week of April 3

April 4, 2017
Washington Update

Budget & Appropriations

  • Congress must pass a fiscal year 2017 appropriations funding bill by April 28 or else the federal government will shut down.
  • According to many sources on the Hill, appropriators on both sides of the aisle are rejecting President Trump's requested fiscal year 2017 appropriations supplemental to cut $32 billion for non-defense discretionary in order to increase funding for defense and fund the border wall with Mexico. 
  • Congress will likely pass a defense supplemental that will increase spending for defense without funding the wall or directly cutting non-defense discretionary.
  • We are still watching spending levels for non-defense discretionary programs that help low-income families as this process unfolds. We will not support any cuts to non-defense discretionary to offset increases in defense.
  • House and Senate champions are working on an emergency $1 billion to be included in the fiscal year 2017 Defense Department supplemental to address the famines in Africa and the Middle East.

SNAP/Farm Bill

  • The House Agriculture Committee's Nutrition Subcommittee held a hearing about the Farm Bill and SNAP on March 28.
  • Witnesses included Stacy Dean (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities), Russell Sykes (American Public Human Services Association), Joe Arthur (Central Pennsylvania Food Bank), Josh Protas (MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger), and Jennifer Hatcher (Food Marketing Institute).
  • Overall, the witnesses agreed that food assistance benefits don't go far enough and that harsher work requirements, particularly for able-bodied adults without dependents, is not good policy. There also seemed to be bipartisan support for keeping SNAP in the Farm Bill. 

Act Now!

More than 20 million people across northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen are facing threat of famine and starvation in the next six months. Additional funding is needed now to avert increased death tolls, mass malnutrition, the destabilization of entire regions, and to support refugees fleeing into neighboring countries.

Call (800-826-3688) your senators and representative today, and tell them to provide $1 billion in additional emergency funding in fiscal year 2017 to avert catastrophic loss of life due to these historic crises. 

You can subscribe to the content of Washington Update, delivered to you 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.