Washington Update: Week of March 27

March 28, 2017
Washington Update

Affordable Care Act

  • Last week was health care week on the Hill. House Speaker Paul Ryan planned for the House to vote on the GOP replacement to the ACA on Thursday but realized that he did not have the votes to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA). President Trump and House leadership went back to the negotiating table with the far-right Freedom Caucus and determined that they would remove the 10 “essential health benefits” from the ACA in the new GOP bill.
  • This, combined with lots of grassroots outrage/activism, led to many moderates switching from being a “yes” vote to a “no.”
  • Ultimately, the AHCA was pulled from the floor late Friday afternoon, March 24, after Ryan told President Trump that they did not have the votes to pass it.
  • There are many reasons why this bill failed--- but grassroots activism, calls, and in-district meetings and town halls seemed to be the main driver of caution within the Republican caucus. For now, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act are intact. YOU DID IT!

Budget & Appropriations

  • After failing to bring the American Health Care Act to a vote on the House floor, House Republicans are now turning their attention to crafting a fiscal year 2018 budget resolution - a needed step to ease passage of the party’s tax overhaul proposals.
  • Prior to the health bill’s demise, the House Budget Committee was not expected to mark up a fiscal 2018 budget resolution until May. House Republicans still need to finish up the fiscal year 2017 appropriations process by passing a federal government funding bill by April 28.
  • Budget hearings continue this week in the House.


  • We are still urging Republicans in both the House and Senate to co-sponsor the BRIDGE Act (HR.496/S.128).
  • The BRIDGE (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act would protect undocumented young adults who qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
  • Many of these individuals, commonly referred to as “DREAMers,” were brought to the U.S. as children. The law would allow DREAMers to legally work and study in the U.S.

SNAP/Farm Bill

  • The House Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition will hold a hearing Tuesday, March 28 at 2 p.m. called “The Next Farm Bill: The Future of SNAP.” Witnesses have not yet been publicly announced but will be posted here along with a link to the live webcast at 2 p.m.

Act Now!

Last week, advocates wrote to their senators asking them to do the right thing and reject funding cuts to lifesaving foreign assistance.

Looks like they were listening. U.S. Sens. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Todd Young (R-IN) are now circulating a letter for others senators to sign onto that supports robust funding for the fiscal year 2018 International Affairs Budget. As the world faces the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, now is not the time to cut these lifesaving programs.

Call (800-826-3688) your senator today, and tell them to sign the Young/Durbin letter supporting International Affairs funding.

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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.