Washington Update: Week of January 22

Washington Update

Budget & Appropriations

  • On Monday, Jan. 22, the Senate struck a deal to reopen the government, which had been shut down for three days, by passing a stopgap spending bill that will fund the government through Feb. 8. The stopgap measure passed the Senate 81-18. The House approved the measure as well.
  • The deal did not include protections for Dreamers. Instead, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has promised a vote on a legislative fix to The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
  • The shutdown was triggered after Congress failed on Friday, Jan. 19 to pass a temporary continuing budget resolution. Democrats and a handful of Republicans blocked the bill after the two parties failed to reach a deal over immigration.


  • While Bread for the World still supports the Dream Act, we also support common sense bipartisan compromises that emerge from Congress. Over the past two weeks, multiple immigration bills have been introduced to fix DACA. Bread is currently analyzing several immigration bills that are either bipartisan or gaining traction in the House or Senate.
  • The bipartisan Uniting and Securing America Act (H.R. 4796), introduced by Reps. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) and Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), would provide Dreamers with a pathway to citizenship, address the push factors of migration from Central America, and enact metric-based border security for each mile of the border.
  • The Durbin-Graham Dreamers deal (known as the Immigration Reform Act of 2018) has not been officially introduced. This proposal appropriates nearly $3 billion in border security, includes a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, and provides three years of work authorization for the parents of Dreamers.
  • Lastly, the Securing America’s Future Act (H.R. 5760), introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), would not provide Dreamers a path to citizenship. Rather, the bill creates a new federal misdemeanor offense for violating any terms or conditions of admission, including a requirement that Dreamers maintain an annual income of at least 125 percent of the poverty line. If they fall below that level for 90 days—not only are Dreamers subject to deportation—they would be classified as criminals. The law effectively criminalizes Dreamers struggling with poverty. Furthermore, this bill would drastically cut family-based visas, which would prevent families from uniting and staying together.

As negotiations continue, it is critical that Congress undertakes a serious commitment to passing a true solution that offers a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers—without increasing family separation.

Farm Bill

  • On Jan. 8, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and President Trump spoke at the American Farm Bureau’s annual convention. While their remarks did not specifically address the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or international food aid, the president pledged to work with the chairman to get a farm bill completed on time. The current farm bill expires Sept. 30, 2018.

Act Now!

Call (800-826-3688) and urge your members of Congress to immediately pass a budget deal that fully funds critical anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs, such as WIC, foreign aid, and disaster assistance, and pass legislation that provides Dreamers with a pathway to citizenship and protects immigrant families.

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