Washington Update: Week of May 9

Washington Update

Global Food Security Act/Feed the Future

  • After passage of the Global Food Security Act (GFSA) in April in each chamber of Congress, negotiations continue to reconcile the two chambers’ versions of the bill. While Bread would support both versions, we are beginning to turn our attention toward pushing the House to consider the Senate’s version.
  • It is still unclear what the process toward final passage of the bill will be. It is possible that it will have to go through the House Foreign Affairs Committee again, but it could go straight to the floor. Regardless, it is looking like there may be action as early as next week in the House.
  • We are focusing on thanking House members who supported the bill and educating them on the Senate version. We are also reaching out to House members who did not vote to increase their support.

See Bread’s analysis of the GFSA for more information and the difference between the two versions of the bill.

Child Nutrition Reauthorization

  • The much-anticipated and rumored markup of the House’s Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill (H.R. 5003) scheduled for the last week of April was postponed. We have heard varying reports that the House may not have had the votes to get the bill out of committee but also that there was just too much on the schedule that week. Despite being back from recess this week, we do not expect the House to mark up the bill in committee. This will allow us more time to weigh in with the committee.
  • Last week, a faith coalition letter was sent to the committee. Bread has also signed on to a broader community letter, which is still open for sign on by national, state, and local groups.

Budget & Appropriations

  • Senate leaders are trying for the third time in as many weeks to advance the first of 12 annual appropriations bills. But unless a surprise deal has been reached to resolve an impasse relating to the Iran nuclear pact, the third procedural vote on the annual Energy-Water bill is likely to leave the Senate just as the previous votes did – stymied.
  • The House is equally stalled and doesn’t appear to be able to pass a budget. After May 15, members will be able to bring up appropriations bills, even without a new budget, so it appears they may start to do that next week.

Mass Incarceration

  • Congress continues to make significant progress on criminal justice reform legislation. S. 2123, The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (SRCA), now has 34 cosponsors, including 15 Republicans. Most recent cosponsors include Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Sen. Barbara Milkulski (D-Md.), Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), and Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska).
  • In response to several Senate critics, key sponsors of the bill released a revised version of the bill. It made several concessions to members who argued that the bill would potentially reduce penalties for people with serious or violent criminal records. The new bill also includes a mandatory enhancement for a common additive to heroin called Fentanyl.
  • In an effort to pressure Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader, Bread joined over 40 of its faith partners in sending him a letter urging an immediate vote on the bill. 

Act Now

Help us urge Congress to support programs that feed children in the U.S. and around the world. Join us in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, June 7, for Bread for the World’s annual Lobby Day. Register now!

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