Washington Update: Week of February 29

Washington Update

Global Food Security Act/Feed the Future

  • Still currently 119 co-sponsors in the House. The last to be added were Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.-13) and Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ-02) on Feb. 23. GFSA is still open to co-sponsors until the bill is filed. Bread is particularly targeting Illinois Reps. Darin LaHood (18th) and Peter Roskam (6th) to complete the state’s delegation on co-sponsorship of the bill.
  • We expect the bill to be filed in the House soon. The earliest we expect the bill to come to the floor for a vote is mid-March. The House Foreign Affairs Committee is still hoping the bill will pass under suspension of the rules, meaning there will be fewer obstacles to the bill passing once it comes to the floor for a vote. The Foreign Affairs Committee is close to agreeing on a final text with the House Agriculture Committee. It seems this may take a while longer.
  • The Senate Foreign Relations Committee plans to mark up the bill on March 10.

Child Nutrition Reauthorization

  • We continue to wait for the Senate to bring the bill passed by the Agriculture Committee to the floor for a vote and for the House to move forward on possibly introducing its own bill.
  • We continue to track summer meals bills for new cosponsors. The House’s Stop Child Summer Hunger Act of 2015 (H.R.2715, the House Summer EBT bill) has four new cosponsors: Reps. Filemon Vela (D-Texas-34); Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.-7); Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.-5); and Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.-25). This brings the total cosponsors to 69 in the House and 11 in the Senate. View the full list.
  • The Summer Meals Act of 2015 (S.613/H.R. 1728, to strengthen summer meals programs) remains at 86 cosponsors in the House and 19 in the Senate. View the full list.


  • Reps. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Lois Capps (D-Calif.), Dennis Ross (R-Florida), and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) are leading a bipartisan Maternal and Child Health (MCH) and Nutrition letter to House appropriators in support of robust funding for lifesaving programs for women and children globally in fiscal year 2017 (the focus of Bread’s 2016 Offering of Letters).
  • The Senate is expected to have a similar letter, but it has not been launched yet.
  • The MCH and nutrition community, including Bread, is reaching out to offices to sign on to this letter by March 16, particularly previous champions and Republicans in the House. At last count, there were 40 signers.

Mass Incarceration

  • We continue to wait for the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S. 2123) to be brought to the Senate floor for a vote.
  • Bread for the World recently signed on to a letter for faith organizations, led by the Interfaith Criminal Justice Coalition, and addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The faith letter urges them to bring three criminal justice reform bills to the floor for a vote: The Sentencing Reform Act; Recidivism Risk Reduction Act; and the Second Chance Act. All three bills have passed by voice vote in the Judiciary Committee.


  • The House is holding another hearing in its SNAP series tomorrow at 10 a.m. The hearing, titled “Past, Present, and Future of SNAP: Examining State Options,” is a full committee hearing. No witness list is posted yet. More information available here.

Act Now!

Take part in Bread for the World’s 2016 Offering of Letters: Survive and Thrive. Contact your members of Congress by phone (800/826-3688) or email. Tell them to provide $230 million to improve the nutrition of mothers and children overseas.

You can subscribe to the content of Washington Update, delivered to you an email, in a newsletter called Fresh Bread.

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