Washington Update: Week of January 22

January 25, 2018
Washington Update

Budget & Appropriations

  • On Monday, Jan. 22, the Senate struck a deal to reopen the government, which had been shut down for three days, by passing a stopgap spending bill that will fund the government through Feb. 8. The stopgap measure passed the Senate 81-18. The House approved the measure as well.
  • The deal did not include protections for Dreamers. Instead, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has promised a vote on a legislative fix to The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
  • The shutdown was triggered after Congress failed on Friday, Jan. 19 to pass a temporary continuing budget resolution. Democrats and a handful of Republicans blocked the bill after the two parties failed to reach a deal over immigration.

Immigration

  • While Bread for the World still supports the Dream Act, we also support common sense bipartisan compromises that emerge from Congress. Over the past two weeks, multiple immigration bills have been introduced to fix DACA. Bread is currently analyzing several immigration bills that are either bipartisan or gaining traction in the House or Senate.
  • The bipartisan Uniting and Securing America Act (H.R. 4796), introduced by Reps. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) and Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), would provide Dreamers with a pathway to citizenship, address the push factors of migration from Central America, and enact metric-based border security for each mile of the border.
  • The Durbin-Graham Dreamers deal (known as the Immigration Reform Act of 2018) has not been officially introduced. This proposal appropriates nearly $3 billion in border security, includes a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, and provides three years of work authorization for the parents of Dreamers.
  • Lastly, the Securing America’s Future Act (H.R. 5760), introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), would not provide Dreamers a path to citizenship. Rather, the bill creates a new federal misdemeanor offense for violating any terms or conditions of admission, including a requirement that Dreamers maintain an annual income of at least 125 percent of the poverty line. If they fall below that level for 90 days—not only are Dreamers subject to deportation—they would be classified as criminals. The law effectively criminalizes Dreamers struggling with poverty. Furthermore, this bill would drastically cut family-based visas, which would prevent families from uniting and staying together.

As negotiations continue, it is critical that Congress undertakes a serious commitment to passing a true solution that offers a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers—without increasing family separation.

Farm Bill

  • On Jan. 8, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and President Trump spoke at the American Farm Bureau’s annual convention. While their remarks did not specifically address the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or international food aid, the president pledged to work with the chairman to get a farm bill completed on time. The current farm bill expires Sept. 30, 2018.

Act Now!

Call (800-826-3688) and urge your members of Congress to immediately pass a budget deal that fully funds critical anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs, such as WIC, foreign aid, and disaster assistance, and pass legislation that provides Dreamers with a pathway to citizenship and protects immigrant families.

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

  • The Nourishing Effect

    Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.

  • Mass Incarceration: A Major Cause of Hunger

    Mass incarceration has far-reaching effects in the United States. It poses a significant barrier to ending U.S. hunger and poverty by 2030—a goal the United States adopted in 2015. But the connection is not always obvious.

  • Advancing Nutrition through Food Aid Reform

    The United States has long been a global leader in responding to humanitarian emergencies. Food assistance that includes nutritious food for pregnant women and young children is both a life-and-death matter for individuals and an economic imperative for countries.

For Faith

  • 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...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.

    ...

  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...

  • Health Care Is a Hunger Issue

    Learn more about the principles that Bread for the World supports regarding health reform.