Bread for the World Welcomes Congressional Budget Agreement
Washington, DC, December 11, 2013
Bread for the World President David Beckmann issued the following statement in response to the announcement of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013:
"We are glad that this Congress is finally starting to put aside political brinksmanship. This is a positive first step to ensure that a circle of protection is maintained around programs such as WIC, Meals on Wheels, Head Start, and poverty-focused development assistance. Congress should pass this bill without delay.
"This act brings much-needed stability to our economy and political system. Sequestration is undermining our economic recovery and causing real harm to struggling families, and this deal provides important relief from those automatic cuts. Moreover, it potentially allows members of Congress to focus their attention on other issues, rather than the current, all-consuming budget debate.
"Though it is a good first step, the act is not perfect. It leaves more than 1 million unemployed workers without benefits before the year's end. Congress should address this immediately.
"Ultimately, Congress needs to address the entire sequester and resolve long-term budget issues. Congress must put the country on a fiscally sustainable path, and not leave struggling families out in the cold.”
The Budget Act of 2013 sets top-line discretionary spending levels for fiscal year 2014 at $1.012 trillion, and at $1.104 trillion for FY 2015. It replaces much of the 2014 sequester, and some of the 2015 sequester, due to a combination of cuts to mandatory spending programs and increased fees.
There are no provisions to extend emergency unemployment rates, which are due to expire on Dec. 31, 2013. This will leave more than 1 million workers without benefits the week after Christmas, and an additional 2 million people will lose benefits by the end of March.
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