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

  • The Nourishing Effect

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

  • The Impacts of Proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Cuts on the Latino Community

    To end hunger and poverty in the United States by 2030, our country needs to support a budget that improves the lives of men, women, and children. Unfortunately, the Trump administration and Congress are proposing dramatic cuts to programs that promote economic opportunity or provide food...

  • The Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615 & H.R. 3440)

    Overview

    The United States is a nation of immigrants. Throughout its history, people have moved here from all over the world and have contributed to their communities and our national life. Today, as in the past, immigrants are also creating prosperity for this nation. 

    ...

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    A brief examination of the biblical approach to health as a hunger issue.

    Includes an introduction to the issue, a Scriptural reflection, practical actions you can take, and a prayer.

  • Bread Newsletter January 2016

    In this issue: Another Great Year for Bread; Catholics Begin Observance of Holy Year of Mercy; Serving on ‘God’s Wave Length’ for 39 Years; and more.
     

  • Interfaith Religious Leaders’ Pledge to End Hunger

    A wide array of the nation’s faith leaders have come together on the eve of Pope Francis’ arrival in the United States to commit ourselves to encourage our communities to work for the end of hunger by 2030 and, toward that end, for a shift in U.S. national priorities.

    We are deeply pleased...

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.

    ...

  • The State of Black Poverty: A Pan-African Millennial Perspective on Ending Hunger by 2030

    Over the past year and a half, about two-dozen young adults from the United States and countries in Africa and the Caribbean, have gathered virtually and in person to reflect on the effects of hunger and poverty in black communities. The working group has been considering socio-political and...

  • Fact Sheet: The Hunger-Medicaid Connection

    Congress is considering proposals that would jeopardize healthcare coverage for millions of poor and near-poor adults and children. 

    Legislation under consideration in the House and Senate would gut...