Washington Update: Week of July 11

Washington Update

Global Food Security Act/Feed the Future

  • Victory #1: The Global Food Security Act of 2016 (S. 1252) passed Congress on July 6! It passed the House by a vote of 369-53. The bill is now on its way to the president’s desk so he can sign it into law.
  • Bread activists had been lobbying intensely for the act for more than a year. They helped shepherd at least 62 members of Congress to become co-sponsors of the bill.

Foreign-Assistance Reform

  • Victory #2: Last week, the House also passed the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act, sponsored by Reps. Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Gerry Connelly (D-Va.) and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.). We expect the legislation to be signed into law this week.
  • Bread strongly supported this bipartisan legislation, which will codify important reforms to ensure that U.S. agencies carrying out foreign assistance are focused on rigorous and consistent monitoring and evaluation of programs and on making comprehensive, timely, and comparable aid data publicly available. By reinforcing its existing commitments to transparency and evaluation through legislation, the U.S. government can better track, measure, and allocate scarce aid resources.
  • Bread has been working on making U.S. foreign assistance more accountable for nearly a decade, and foreign-assistance reform was the focus of Bread’s 2008 and 2009 Offering of Letters campaigns.

Child Nutrition Reauthorization

  • Another step closer to a vote in the full Senate: The Senate’s child nutrition bill officially has a number. S.3136, the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016, was officially introduced in the Senate last week. This is the bill that the Senate Agriculture Committee passed unanimously by voice vote in January.

Budget & Appropriations

  • The House State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its appropriations bill last week. The bill is $595 million below the fiscal year 2016 omnibus bill and $691 million below the president’s FY 2017 request.
  • The House recommended $125 million for nutrition in global health programs in FY 2017, the same as the Senate, and level funding from FY 2016 (Bread is asking for $230 as part of its 2016 Offering of Letters). Funding for development assistance focused on poverty was reduced despite the increased need totaling $22.4 million, $4 million below the FY 2016 omnibus bill.
  • The House Appropriations Committee is marking up the State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill today.

Act Now!

Did your representative vote for the Global Food Security Act last week? (See the list of yeas and nays.) If so, call (800-826-3688) or email and thank him/her for passing it. 

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