Washington Update: Week of May 1

May 2, 2017
Washington Update

Budget & Appropriations

  • Last week, Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution through Friday, May 5 to allow them time to finalize an omnibus spending bill. The omnibus spending bill was released Sunday night and is expected to pass Congress this week. It will fund the government through September 30, the end of the 2017 fiscal year.
  • The $1.1 trillion compromise omnibus spending bill is a win for anti-hunger advocates. Not only are most domestic and international programs we track fully funded, but the bill also includes more than $1 billion in famine relief.
  • There are a few wins for the Trump administration: $15 billion in defense spending as well as $1.5 billion for border security that cannot be used for a border wall. Several of the programs the administration proposed cutting or zeroing out have received full funding or in other cases seen increases in funding. Below is a summary of funding for some of Bread for the World’s key programs.

International

  • $1.466 billion in base funding for Food for Peace and a one-time $134 million increase to address famine crises around the world.
  • $202 million for McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. This is level funding compared to fiscal year 2016. The Trump administration has proposed eliminating this program.
  • $3.05 billion for Global Health Programs (USAID), a $220 million increase from fiscal year 2016.
  • $125 million for maternal and child nutrition programs, flat funding from fiscal year 2016.
  • $2.9 billion for development assistance, a $210 million increase from fiscal year 2016.
  • $3.8 billion for International Disaster Assistance, of which $990 million is to address the famine crises in Africa and the Middle East.

Domestic

  • $6.35 billion for WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children), level funding from fiscal year 2016. Includes a $850 million cut in carry over funding from previous years. This cut would not impact current caseload.
  • Provides summer meals funding through the Summer Food Service Program and continues the summer EBT pilot projects at $23 million. This is the same amount provided for summer EBT in fiscal year 2016.
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) received $3.4 billion, the same as fiscal year 2016. The Trump administration has proposed eliminating this program.
  • The Child Care and Development Block Grant received a $95 million increase and the Community Development received the same funding as fiscal year 2016. These programs were also targets for cuts by the Trump administration.
  • Seniors’ Nutrition Programs also received an additional $3 million in funding over fiscal year 2016 levels.
  • The Department of Homeland Security appropriations budget also includes $341 million for replacement of current border barrier and adding additional border security technology.

American Health Care Act

  • Last week, we narrowly avoided a vote on the American Health Care Act, which still includes provisions to per-capita-cap Medicaid and cuts the Medicaid expansion.
  • We have heard that a vote on health care is likely to occur as early as this Wednesday. President Trump is eager to get health care off his plate so he can move on to tax reform.

Raising Awareness About Hunger

  • Bread’s government relations intern recently decided to participate in the SNAP Challenge. Read what she learned from the experience here.

Act Now!

This week Congress has two important votes that will impact hungry and impoverished people in the U.S. and abroad. Call and tell Congress to make decisions that put us on track to end hunger by 2030. Specifically, tell your members of Congress to:

  • Vote YES on the fiscal year 2017 omnibus spending bill. If passed, this bill will decrease hunger in famine stricken countries and ensure that food insecure households in the U.S. can continue to access critical programs like WIC and summer meals. 
  • Vote NO on the American Health Care Act. If passed, this bill will increase hunger in America. An $880 billion dollar cut to Medicaid will increase hunger and poverty for America’s most vulnerable.

You can subscribe to the content of Washington Update, delivered to you as an email, in a newsletter called Fresh Bread.

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 U.S. Contribution to Ending Global Malnutrition

    We have a new opportunity in 2017 to speed up global progress against malnutrition among pregnant women and young children. Worldwide, maternal and child malnutrition causes millions of deaths each year. In some countries, it holds entire generations back from reaching their economic potential....

  • Fact Sheet: Nutrition During Famine

    Famine means that 20 percent or more of the households in an area have “an extreme lack of food and other basic needs where starvation, death, and destitution are evident.”

    Famine has been declared in two counties of South Sudan, while other areas of South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, and...

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. 

    The bill under consideration, the American Health Care Act, would gut...

Field

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Insight

From the Blog