Bread congressional update 10/10

November 11, 2009 at 6:16 am Leave a comment

Fresh Bread
Update on Washington during the 111th Congress
November 10, 2009

   In this Issue

INSIDE WASHINGTON

  • On November 16, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will release annual food security data. Check Bread’s Web site later that day for our analysis and the latest statistics.  
  • On November 17, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will testify before the Senate Agriculture Committee during the hearing “Reauthorization of U.S. Child Nutrition Programs: Opportunities to Fight Hunger and Improve Child Health.”

BREAD’S ISSUES

Foreign Assistance Reform

  • Bread members have been urging their senators to cosponsor S. 1524, the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009.  Currently, 18 senators have signed on to the bill.
  • The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was scheduled to mark up S.1524 on November 10. However, it has been postponed due to the memorial service for victims of the Ft. Hood shooting.  Committee staff hopes to reschedule the mark up for next Tuesday, November 17.
  • H.R. 2139, the Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009, now has a total of 121 cosponsors in the House.
  • A sign-on letter urging President Obama to name an administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is being circulated to the full House by Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

Global Hunger and Food Security

  • Bread President David Beckmann testified on October 29 at a hearing on food security before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health.
  • He stressed that young children’s nutritional status should be a key way of measuring the effectiveness of the initiative. Beckmann’s full testimony is available on Bread’s Web site.

FY2010 Budget

  • President Obama signed a second continuing resolution on November 6. It funds the federal government agencies whose final appropriations bills have not yet been completed through December 18.
  • Seven of the 12 federal appropriations bills remain unfinished.

Child Hunger Goal

  • Bread and other members of the National Anti-Hunger Organizations (NAHO) are preparing a “Roadmap to End Child Hunger.” The document outlines nine policy steps necessary to achieve the president’s goal of ending child hunger by 2015.
  • In addition to calling for significant new investments in child nutrition programs in the upcoming reauthorization, the document lays out needed improvements to nutrition assistance, poverty reduction, and economic opportunity policies and programs.

FY11 Budget

  • Early in February 2010, the administration will send Congress its budget request for fiscal year 2011, which begins October 1, 2010.
  • Since federal agencies are already preparing the proposed budget, both the House and Senate are now circulating letters urging the administration to request a robust budget for international affairs. Sens. John Kerry (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Richard Lugar (R-IN), along with Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), are leading this effort.

Economy

  • In August, more than 36 million people participated in SNAP (formerly the Food Stamp Program), the ninth consecutive month of record highs. This is an increase of nearly 24 percent over the year before.
  • The nation’s unemployment rate reached 10.2 percent in October, the highest level in 26 years. More than one-third of the unemployed have been without a job for more than 26 weeks.
  • Out of concern for long-term unemployed people who have exhausted their unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, President Obama signed a law on November 6 to extend UI benefits.
  • The bill extends benefits by 14 weeks in all states and provides an additional six weeks of benefits in high-unemployment states (those with unemployment rates above 8.5 percent).

ACT NOW

  • Continue to urge your senators to cosponsor S. 1524, the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009.
  • Due to the delay in the markup of S. 1524, which had been scheduled for November 10, we have an additional week to secure Senate cosponsors.
  • The bipartisan S. 1524 is an important initial step in making foreign assistance more effective. It formally states that it is U.S. policy to promote the reduction of poverty and hunger and contains provisions to revitalize and strengthen the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
  • Send your letters to Senator ____, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510. Or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
  • For updated sample letters and more information on improving foreign assistance—Bread for the World’s Offering of Letters 2009—visit www.bread.org/OL2009.

 

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Thanks Milwaukie Presbyterian Key Senate Committee Passes Foreign Assistance Reform Bill

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