Washington Update: Week of December 5

Washington Update

Preparing for What Comes Next

While we continue to wait on Congress to make last-minute funding decisions before the lame duck session ends, Bread for the World is already preparing for next year. We know it will be a tough year given the priorities of the new president-elect and new Congress.

However, we are steadfast in our commitment to challenging any proposed cuts to domestic and international anti-poverty programs. These programs are a lifeline to millions of people here and abroad. Deep program cuts would only drive more people into poverty. That would be a tragedy given the fact that our country and the world have made substantial progress against hunger and poverty over the last several decades.

In fact, in 2016, we convinced our legislators to pass a $7.6 billion world hunger bill. The law will benefit many of the more than 795 million chronically malnourished people, including 159 million children, as well as nearly 7 million farmers in developing countries.

Let’s not despair about the tough road ahead. Remember, God is always active in history on the side of the widows, the orphans, and the immigrants, and people who are hungry.

Thank you for your persistent and faithful advocacy.

-Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World

Budget & Appropriations

  • The Senate is working on passing a continuing resolution (CR) this week in order to avoid a government shutdown on Dec. 9. The Senate is still determining what the CR will include and how long it will continue to automatically fund the government. The House will likely take up the Senate version of the CR next week.
  • Congressional Republicans are already working on a budget reconciliation bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Trump administration has signaled that they would like to sign it on Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, 2017.  Bread has taken the stance that a well thought-out replacement for the ACA must be agreed upon before the healthcare legislation is repealed. This is the most responsible thing to do.

Criminal Justice Reform

  • Criminal justice reform is not likely to move during the lame duck session. We hope Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) will allow a vote on the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act and that it can pass under suspension.
  • We have meetings this week with staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R- Iowa) and Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) to discuss our priorities for next session.

Fresh Bread in the 115th Congress

The 115th Congress will start in early January 2017. As with the 114th Congress, Fresh Bread will continue to be published while the U.S. Congress is in session.

Act Now!

As Christians, we believe that our government has the moral duty to pass laws that will not increase hunger and poverty. Repealing the Affordable Care Act can lead to millions of Americans having to choose between paying for food or paying for their medication. 

Call (800-826-3688) your representative and senators, and urge them to not repeal the Affordable Care Act without having a responsible replacement.  

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