Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World strongly urges congressional leaders to ensure strong funding for life-saving nutrition programs when the newly-extended continuing resolution expires in April 2017.
“The budget for fiscal year 2017 will not be fully formulated until April when the new Congress is in session” said Eric Mitchell, director of government relations at Bread for the World. “That budget needs to include measures that preserve funding for life-saving programs that are a safety net for millions of Americans.”
Bread for the World is disappointed that the current 114th Congress failed to reauthorize child nutrition programs and to pass sentencing reform. These vital reforms are needed to help the 43 million Americans who experience hunger. Both bills received bipartisan support but were ultimately tied up in negotiations between the House and Senate, hindering progress already seen to ending hunger by 2030. With the arrival of the new president and new Congress in January 2017, passing these important pieces of legislation will become more difficult.
“This continued piecemeal approach is not feasible. With all of the uncertainties that we face at home and abroad, federal agencies need to be able to count on a reliable stream of funding,” Mitchell added. “Having fewer financial resources could dramatically impact the effectiveness of programs such as low-income housing, Feed the Future, or WIC, which provides nutrition assistance to pregnant mothers and young children.”
Despite the failure to pass a budget for fiscal year 2017, Congress managed at least a major anti-hunger bill – considered a major step toward ending hunger for 795 million people worldwide, including 159 million children.
“Despite the lack of progress on many issues this year, we were able to pass a major global anti-hunger bill, the Global Food Security Act,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “We congratulate the bipartisan coalition of lawmakers who helped to shepherd this bill through.”