Washington Update: Week of November 28

Washington Update

Child Nutrition Reauthorization

  • We hope to hear this week on how the Senate plans to move forward with a child nutrition bill and if that bill could be part of a year-end spending bill.
  • We continue to urge Congress to pass a strong bipartisan child nutrition bill such as the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016 (S.3136) before the end of the year.

Budget & Appropriations

  • Federal programs are currently funded under a temporary stopgap bill called a continuing resolution (CR) thru Dec. 9. 
  • After the election, Republicans in Congress began pushing support for another CR that would fund the federal government through most of March 2017. The incoming Trump administration has also signaled that they want a long-term CR.  
  • As of last week Republican leadership was considering lengthening the anticipated CR by two months – until May 2017. The current CR which was passed back in September runs out next week on Dec. 9. By extending the CR until May, it will accommodate both the House and Senate by freeing up time to confirm President-elect Trump’s cabinet appointments and Supreme Court nomination. Putting off spending discussions onto the next Congress ensures a conservative agenda but will receive push back by Democrats and moderates in both chambers.
  • As far as next Congress goes, appropriators and Republican leadership have indicated that they want to use the budget reconciliation process to repeal the Affordable Care Act and possibly overhaul entitlements and the tax code. This will be incredibly complex and they are unlikely to accomplish all that they want.

Criminal Justice Reform

  • In late October/early November House Speaker Paul Ryan indicated that there were enough House Republican votes to pass the Sentencing Reform Act of 2015. Unfortunately, the election has ended any chance of passing criminal justice reform during the lame duck session. The issue most likely will be punted to the 115th Congress. We are still advocating for Congress to do the right thing and pass bipartisan criminal justice reform.
  • Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) is the new Democratic leader of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Historically, Feinstein has been a very “tough-on-crime” senator so it is uncertain what her role will be in pushing for passage of the sentencing reform legislation in the next Congress.

Act Now!

As Congress considers the fiscal year 2017 budget, please continue to call (800-826-3688) your senators and representative and urge them to support an increase for global maternal and child nutrition programs.

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