Washington Update: Week of July 31

August 2, 2017
Washington Update

The Senate is in session this week. The House is already on recess for August. The first session of the 115th Congress will reconvene after Labor Day, Sept. 5.

Medicaid

  • Thank you for all your hard work in urging your leaders in Congress not to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Last Friday, the Senate failed to repeal the ACA, with Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) providing the critical NO votes. It was a close vote, 51 senators voted no and 49 voted yes.
  • A bipartisan working group of senators is currently working on proposals to stabilize the insurance market. There is also Republican momentum around a Graham/Cassidy Medicaid block grant proposal. Bread for the World does not support legislation that converts Medicaid into block grants to states.

Budget & Appropriations

  • When Congress reconvenes after Labor Day, legislators will have until the end of September to raise the debt limit, and finalize annual appropriations bills. They also need to pass a bipartisan budget deal that raises the yearly caps on defense and non-defense spending.
  • Some Republican members are also wanting to refocus their efforts on tax reform, and others in the Senate are starting bipartisan conversations on health care reform.
  • When the House recessed last week, they failed to take up their 2018 budget resolution. Instead they passed their first minibus spending bill that provides funds for Defense, Energy & Water, Military Construction/Veteran’s Affairs, and the Legislative Branch. (An omnibus includes a larger number of the appropriation measures, while a minibus only encompasses a handful).
  • The Senate is working at a slower pace than the House in passing its appropriations bills out of committee. Last week they advanced a Commerce, Justice, Science bill, a Transportation, HUD bill, and a Legislative Branch bill.

Immigration

  • Last week U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) signed on as co-sponsors of the DREAM Act. They joined Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) who re-introduced the bill (S. 1615) in the Senate on July 20.
  • On Wednesday, July 26, U.S. Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.-40) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.-27) introduced the House version of the DREAM Act, H.R. 3440. U.S. Reps. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.-06) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.-19) have joined as co-sponsors.
  • The DREAM Act stands for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors. It would offer a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrant youth.
  • We are urging all senators to co-sponsor the bipartisan DREAM Act (S.1615).

Act Now!

How did your senators vote on the "skinny repeal" of the Affordable Care Act last week? Find out here. If your senators voted NO, call (800-826-3688) and thank them for protecting Medicaid. If your senators voted YES, call (800-826-3688) and express your disappointment. Urge your senators to oppose any legislation that cuts, rolls back, or repeals Medicaid.

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

  • Election Resources

    One of the best times to raise the issues of hunger and poverty is during election campaigns. Engage candidates in your state/district on hunger and poverty using our elections resources.
  • Racially Equitable Responses to Hunger During COVID-19 and Beyond

    By Marlysa D. Gamblin and Kathleen King

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as when a person or household does not have regular, reliable access to the foods needed for good health. Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color (BIPOC) have historically had higher...

  • Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Global Pandemic, Better Nutrition Protects Lives

    With the coronavirus now spreading in low-resource contexts and new waves of infection expected in the coming year, better nutrition for vulnerable people is more important than ever.

For Faith

  • Finding Hope, Ending Hunger on Both Sides of the Border: A Bilingual Latino Devotional

    Devotional writers challenge us to feel the Spirit of God within us and to hear God’s urgent call to demand justice so all can put food on the table.
  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.

    The Bible on...

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

For Advocacy

Faith

African at Heart

November 22, 2019

Insight

From the Blog