Washington, D.C. – The president’s 2015 budget includes proposals that would help reduce hunger in our country and around the world. Notably, it proposes to expand the earned income tax credit (EITC) for childless workers, and calls for reforms that would allow international food aid to reach millions more people at no additional cost to U.S. taxpayers.
Following is a statement from Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World:
“President Obama’s budget is a step in the right direction toward ending hunger. Cuts to annually appropriated programs have slowed the economy—this is not a good way to reduce deficit spending. We support the president’s proposal to restore some of the funding that has been cut from these programs. It includes funding for programs that are important to low-income families, notably preschool for low-income children and unemployment benefits for workers who can’t find a job in this economy.
“We are particularly encouraged that the budget calls for reforms that would make international food aid more cost-effective and increase its impact, including the ability to purchase more food locally and regionally. Congress approved some additional flexibility in its January omnibus appropriations bill. About 1,000 churches across the country will participate in Bread for the World’s 2014 Offering of Letters, which is urging Congress to approve more extensive reform and maintain robust funding levels for international food aid.
“One feature of the president’s budget alarms us. It proposes to reduce funding for some other life-saving and critical foreign-assistance programs, including many health and humanitarian programs.”
Regarding domestic funding proposals, Beckmann added:
“Unfortunately for many in this country, having a job isn’t a guaranteed ticket out of poverty. Refundable tax credits, like the EITC, support work and are some of the nation’s most effective anti-poverty programs. Refundable tax credits enjoy significant bipartisan support and lift more than 10 million people out of poverty annually. However, the EITC does very little for low-wage workers without children, many of whom are taxed into poverty. We are encouraged by the president’s proposal to strengthen this valuable program for childless adults.”
The president’s budget also includes provisions that overhaul our immigration laws and raise revenue.