Washington Update: Week of January 29

January 30, 2018
Washington Update

Budget & Appropriations

  • President Donald J. Trump is set to deliver his first State of the Union address to Congress Tuesday, Jan. 30 — at the same time lawmakers continue to hammer out a compromise on a fiscal year 2018 spending bill and a resolution for Dreamers.
  • Negotiations on the fiscal year 2018 budget caps for defense and non-defense discretionary programs continue. Democrats are demanding some level of parity between increases in defense and non-defense spending. Republicans, for the most part, want increases in defense spending and nominal increases in non-defense spending.
  • The current spending bill, which Congress passed on Jan. 22 to reopen the government, expires on Feb. 8.


  • The Trump administration has released its immigration framework. In return for supporting a pathway to citizenship for as many as 1.8 million Dreamers, the administration is demanding a reduction in family immigration visas, increases in border and ICE agents, reforms to asylum laws, and a $25 billion trust fund to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • Democrats, and some Republicans, have rejected the framework and continue to push for a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and border security with no broad changes to legal immigration.
  • Bread for the World opposes the president’s immigration framework. We continue to reject partisan policies that seek to separate families, take away protections from asylum seekers, and increase detention of Central American migrants seeking refuge from food-insecurity and violence.

Farm Bill

  • Last week, the Trump administration released a four-page document highlighting its 2018 legislative priorities for the farm bill. Among the priorities include additional work requirements for people receiving the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program.
  • No specific recommendations were outlined in the document. However, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has said the administration supports stricter work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents who receive SNAP benefits.

Act Now!

Call (800-826-3688) and urge your members of Congress to cosponsor and pass the Uniting and Securing America (USA) Act of 2018 (H.R. 4796) now!

Bread for the world supports the bipartisan USA Act because, like the Dream Act, it provides Dreamers with a pathway to citizenship. The bill also addresses the push factors of migration from Central America.

from our Resource Library

For Education

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

  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Fact Sheet: Hunger by the Numbers

    In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.

  • 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...


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