- Last week Bread had a meeting with the Senate Appropriations Committee minority staff and received information about the timing for fiscal year 2017 and fiscal year 2018 appropriations. Currently members in both the Senate and the House are not focused on appropriations.
- President Trump is scheduled to address the two chambers on Feb. 28, and shortly after, release his budget outline for fiscal year 2018. Majority and minority staff members have indicated that fiscal year 2018 discussions will not begin until fiscal year 2017 has been resolved. At the moment neither side knows when discussions will resume. There is speculation that things will pick up after the President’s Day recess.
- We are still seeking Republican co-sponsors for the BRIDGE Act (HR 496/ S 128).
- The BRIDGE (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act would protect undocumented young adults who qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
- Many of these individuals, commonly referred to as “DREAMers,” were brought to the U.S. as children. The law would allow them to legally work and study in the U.S. More than 741,000 individuals are currently protected by DACA and would be impacted if it were rescinded by executive order under the Trump administration.
Affordable Care Act
- Republicans in Congress are still debating what to do with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Due to pressure from advocates, more and more Republicans are now saying that a replacement health plan should be offered at the same time as repeal legislation, or that multiple bills to replace parts of the ACA could be moved on a piecemeal basis.
- This may be one reason why the four committees that have jurisdiction over health policy – two in the House and two in the Senate – missed the Jan. 27 deadline to draft portions of a repeal bill. The Jan. 27 deadline was put in place by the budget resolution Congress passed in mid-January but was nonbinding.
- Congress is under pressure by insurers to settle on repeal and replace legislation by March or April, and there have been plans by the relevant committees to complete their work by late February in order to meet this deadline.
- They would like Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) to be confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services in order to develop the replacement plan; his confirmation vote may take place as early as this week. However, President Trump said on Feb. 5 that the repeal and replace of the ACA could take until next year, underscoring the uncertainty of the timing.
We want Congress to make funding decisions that will end hunger in the U.S. and around the world by 2030. By investing in programs like WIC, SNAP, tax credits for low-income workers, and international development assistance millions of people will get help to escape poverty.
Call and urge your congressional leaders (800-826-3688) to support a budget that will put us on track to end hunger by 2030.
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