Washington Update: Week of December 4

December 5, 2017
Washington Update

Budget & Appropriations (2017 Offering of Letters)

  • The continuing resolution (CR) that was passed in August 2017 to fund the government through Dec. 8 will expire this week. In order to avoid a federal government shutdown, Congress must pass a funding bill by this Friday.
  • The House is expected to pass a two-week CR this week to give themselves more time to complete a year-end spending deal. The CR would extend to Dec. 22 and authorize the release of money to states running out of funds to run the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
  • Leadership is still trying to reach an agreement on topline numbers for defense and non-defense funding and need more time to negotiate. Democrats want parity between defense and non-defense spending, while Republicans want to increase defense spending by $54 billion and non-defense by $37 billion.
  • The year-end spending debate is being further complicated by demands from Democrats that Congress reauthorize CHIP and pass the Dream Act of 2017. Other hurdles include a demand by lawmakers from hurricane-ravaged Florida, Texas, and Louisiana for more disaster assistance from the federal government.

Taxes

  • The Senate passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 by a 51-49 vote in the early morning hours on Dec. 2. The House plans to vote today on motions to go to conference on the tax-reform bill that was passed, setting the stage for talks between the two chambers to reconcile differences between the House and Senate tax bills. 

Act Now!

Call (800-826-3688) your senators and thank them if they voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or let them know you are disappointed if they voted for the legislation. See how your member voted here.

Tools
from our Resource Library

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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...

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