Bread Grateful for Debt Ceiling Deal, Disappointed by Expanded Work Requirements


Washington, D.C., June 2, 2023 – Today, Bread for the World released the following statement on passage of the debt ceiling compromise legislation. The statement can be attributed to Rev. Eugene Cho, president and CEO of Bread for the World:

“Bread for the World is grateful White House and congressional negotiators were able to come to a debt ceiling agreement that will enable the federal government to pay its bills. Preventing a default on our federal debt is vital to preventing a hunger crisis. One in four Americans participates in federal nutrition programs such as SNAP and WIC – those programs would come to a standstill if the U.S. were to default. The Social Security checks for 67 million seniors and people with disabilities would be delayed or simply not issued.

“However, we are deeply disappointed the agreement expands SNAP requirements to older Americans aged 50 to 54 who do not have children living at home. Close to 750,000 people will be impacted by the expanded work requirements. Many people in this group are unable to secure employment due to age discrimination, physical ailments, and the need to care for family members. Others will lose SNAP benefits because of administrative and reporting error issues.

“While we support the dignity of work, studies show that work requirements do not increase employment rates or income and simply result in the loss of food assistance for the people who need it most. Bread is thankful that the debt agreement now exempts veterans, people experiencing homelessness, and former foster youth from these requirements.

“Bread will continue our bipartisan efforts for people who struggle with hunger – both in the U.S. and abroad. We look forward to working with Congress on the farm bill negotiations to ensure everyone experiencing hunger has access to the food and nutrition they need to lead healthy and productive lives.”

Bread for the World is a Christian advocacy organization urging U.S. decision makers to do all they can to pursue a world without hunger

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