Fresh Bread – Dec 16

December 17, 2009 at 6:44 am Leave a comment

 

Fresh Bread
Update on Washington during the 111th Congress
December 16, 2009

INSIDE WASHINGTON

  • The House has set a target date of December 18 to adjourn for Christmas, returning to work in Washington in mid-January. The Senate expects to remain in session longer to work on health care overhaul; senators may conduct business the week between Christmas and New Year’s.
  • The next issue of Fresh Bread will appear January 26, once both the House and Senate return.
  • The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved Dr. Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator by voice vote on December 8.  Shah is awaiting confirmation by the Senate as a whole before the end of the year, but time is certainly running short.

 

BREAD’S ISSUES

Foreign Assistance Reform

  • An additional three Republican senators have signed on to S. 1524, the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009, bringing the total number of cosponsors to 22.

FY10 Budget

  • An omnibus appropriations bill, which combined six of the 12 federal appropriations bills, has been sent to President Obama for his signature. The final version of the bill was passed by both the House and Senate.
  • Included in the omnibus is State-Foreign Operations appropriations, which includes most funding for poverty-focused development assistance. The total funding for State-Foreign Operations is $48.7 billion, approximately $3 billion below the administration’s request.
  • Poverty-focused development assistance saw an increase of $1.66 billion over FY2009 levels. The funding level crossed the $20 billion mark; the 2010 appropriation is $21.96 billion. This is nearly triple the amount allotted in 2000.
  • Earlier in the year, Congress finalized five other appropriations measures as separate bills. This leaves only Defense appropriations to be completed. Congressional leaders plan to attach other measures to the defense bill before bringing it to the House and Senate floors. These measures will likely include additional funding for SNAP (food stamps) and other safety net items such as extending unemployment benefits.

U.S. Hunger and Food Insecurity

  • Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is still on the increase. In September, 37.2 million people in nearly 17 million households received SNAP benefits. The number of participants increased by almost 18 percent in the last year.
  • In response to the president’s goal of ending childhood hunger by the year 2015, Bread for the World and other members of National Anti-Hunger Organizations (NAHO) developed a plan to achieve the goal. The “Roadmap to End Childhood Hunger in America by 2015” will be released December 17 in an event on Capitol Hill.

 

ACT NOW

Send a Christmas card to your members of Congress. Wish them a Merry Christmas and ask them to make hunger a top priority as they return to work in Washington in January 2010.

Points to make:

  • Hunger has increased during the recession, and now nearly one in four children is food insecure. One way we could reduce childhood hunger is by helping more eligible children access child nutrition programs like school meals.
  • Global hunger is on the increase, beginning to reverse decades of progress against hunger. U.S. leadership on strengthening investments in agriculture would help restore progress.

Send the Christmas cards to:

Sen. _____
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510
 and   Rep. _____
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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