Washington Update: Week of January 29

Washington Update

Budget & Appropriations

  • President Donald J. Trump is set to deliver his first State of the Union address to Congress Tuesday, Jan. 30 — at the same time lawmakers continue to hammer out a compromise on a fiscal year 2018 spending bill and a resolution for Dreamers.
  • Negotiations on the fiscal year 2018 budget caps for defense and non-defense discretionary programs continue. Democrats are demanding some level of parity between increases in defense and non-defense spending. Republicans, for the most part, want increases in defense spending and nominal increases in non-defense spending.
  • The current spending bill, which Congress passed on Jan. 22 to reopen the government, expires on Feb. 8.


  • The Trump administration has released its immigration framework. In return for supporting a pathway to citizenship for as many as 1.8 million Dreamers, the administration is demanding a reduction in family immigration visas, increases in border and ICE agents, reforms to asylum laws, and a $25 billion trust fund to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • Democrats, and some Republicans, have rejected the framework and continue to push for a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and border security with no broad changes to legal immigration.
  • Bread for the World opposes the president’s immigration framework. We continue to reject partisan policies that seek to separate families, take away protections from asylum seekers, and increase detention of Central American migrants seeking refuge from food-insecurity and violence.

Farm Bill

  • Last week, the Trump administration released a four-page document highlighting its 2018 legislative priorities for the farm bill. Among the priorities include additional work requirements for people receiving the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program.
  • No specific recommendations were outlined in the document. However, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has said the administration supports stricter work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents who receive SNAP benefits.

Act Now!

Call (800-826-3688) and urge your members of Congress to cosponsor and pass the Uniting and Securing America (USA) Act of 2018 (H.R. 4796) now!

Bread for the world supports the bipartisan USA Act because, like the Dream Act, it provides Dreamers with a pathway to citizenship. The bill also addresses the push factors of migration from Central America.

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