Bread for the World Commends Bipartisan Effort to Avert Financial Crisis, Calls for End to Sequestration
Washington, DC, October 17, 2013
Bread for the World is relieved that the government has re-opened and the country avoided ruining its creditworthiness, but warns that the automatic cuts known as sequestration will continue to harm the working poor and struggling families.
“We are relieved that Congress was able to get its act together last night and reach a bipartisan agreement to solve this crisis,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Still, it is unconscionable that a group of politicians held the government hostage and caused considerable damage over the last 16 days.”
The deal keeps the federal government open until Jan. 15, 2014 and extends the debt cushion until Feb. 7, 2014. The bill also calls for a budget conference committee to address sequestration and negotiate a budget agreement for the remainder of the 2014 fiscal year.
“Though we are grateful to God for an end to the crisis, we cannot simply exchange one deadline for another,” said Beckmann. “We need to address the root of the problem, and we need to address sequestration.”
Sequestration began in March of this year due to the inability of Congress to enact a broad deficit-reduction deal. Already, 57,000 children have been turned away from Head Start and low-income seniors have been left without food baskets because of cuts to Meals on Wheels. The second round of sequestration cuts, which go into effect Jan. 15, further threaten funding for critical programs such as WIC, Head Start, and international emergency food-aid.
“The solution is not to pick on struggling families and the working poor. Our leaders have to focus on food security and job creation in order to ensure a stable economy. We must hold our leaders accountable to make sure a government shutdown does not happen again. We must tell them that we want an end to sequestration. We must not accept brinksmanship and political games,” Beckmann concluded.
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
Fito Moreno, Interim Media Relations Manager, 202-688-1138