Washington Update: Week of May 15

May 16, 2017
Washington Update

Budget & Appropriations

  • With fiscal year 2017 appropriations finalized, Congress now turns to the fiscal year 2018 budget and appropriations process.
  • The Trump administration is expected to release its fiscal year 2018 budget proposal Tuesday, May 23. The House is holding off until the release of the president's budget to mark up the fiscal year 2018 budget resolution including instructions for reconciliation.
  • The Senate is not looking to pass a budget resolution until after they have completed their health care bill. While the fiscal year 2017 budget season ended on a high note, we have our work cut out for us for the 2018 cycle. These budget proposals are expected to include deep cuts to both domestic and international non-discretionary and mandatory spending. 


  • We are still urging members of Congress to co-sponsor the BRIDGE Act (H.R. 496). As of right now there are 25 co-sponsors: 12 Republicans and 13 Democrats.

American Health Care Act

  • Right now, the Senate is working on developing a health care bill similar to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed in the House.
  • Instead of starting from scratch, the Senate is looking to amend the House bill. There is a real danger that the Senate version will claim to make small improvements to pre-existing conditions and age rating, but will still include draconian cuts to Medicaid.
  • Right now, we think that there are two possible deadlines Republicans have set for when they want to pass the Senate bill: Before the July 4 recess or before the August recess.
  • The Congressional Budget Office is expected to release its estimate of how much the AHCA will cost taxpayers by Monday, May 22. Contrary to previous processes, the House passed the AHCA without knowing the exact cost of the bill. 

Act Now!

Right now, the Senate is working on language for a health care bill that would cut billions of dollars in Medicaid and put low-income and vulnerable people at risk, of again, having to make the terrible choice between purchasing food or medicine. Call your senators (800-826-3688) and urge them to reject the American Health Care Act and any cuts to Medicaid.

Every senator needs to hear from their constituents, but these six U.S. senators will be key in this process. If you live in any of the following states, we especially need you to make calls urging them to protect Medicaid and reject the American Health Care Act:

Arizona: Sen. Jeff Flake
Alaska: Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Louisiana: Sen. Bill Cassidy
Maine: Sen. Susan Collins
Ohio: Sen. Rob Portman
Pennsylvania: Sen. Pat Toomey 

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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