Fresh Bread – Washington Update 1-26-10

January 27, 2010 at 10:58 pm Leave a comment

INSIDE WASHINGTON

  • Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon joined Bread for the World President David Beckmann and other leaders of the National Anti-Hunger Organizations (NAHO) at the Capitol Hill launch of NAHO’s new report, A Roadmap to End Childhood Hunger.  For more information on the report’s recommendations, go to www.bread.org.
  • Congress returned to work in Washington last week after Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
  • President Barack Obama will give his first State of the Union address on Wednesday, January 27, at 9:00 pm EST.  For Bread’s response, visit www.bread.org on Thursday.
  • President Obama will soon submit his FY2011 budget to Congress.  Bread will also issue a response to the proposed budget.

 

BREAD’S ISSUES

Protecting and Strengthening Tax Credits for Working Families

  • This year, Bread for the World’s Offering of Letters urges Congress to protect and strengthen key tax credits that help low-income working families in the United States, including the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. These programs are critical to making sure that low-income working families have the resources they need to provide for their basic needs, including food.
  • Each year, the Earned Income Tax Credit alone lifts 5 million Americans, including 2.6 million children, above the poverty line.
  • January 29 is EITC Awareness Day. The IRS encourages organizations to host events and engage the media to bring attention to the EITC and to sites that provide free tax filing services. For information on how to participate in EITC Awareness Day, visit child nutrition briefing page for additional information. 

U.S. Hunger and Food Insecurity

  • More and more people are turning to federal nutrition programs to feed their families. In October 2009, 37.9 million people participated in SNAP (formerly food stamps)—nearly 7 million more than a year earlier and the 11th consecutive month of record high participation.
  • Bread is working to ensure that states have the funding they need to process steadily growing SNAP caseloads and that food banks and other emergency food providers have enough food to meet increased requests for assistance.
  • SNAP participants continue to benefit from the temporary increase in monthly SNAP allowances provided in last year’s economic recovery package. This temporary boost helps families put food on the table and frees up income for other household necessities like rent and utilities.
  • A recent survey of U.S. cities found that requests for emergency food assistance increased by an average of 26 percent in 2009, while food banks reported an increase of 30 percent. 
  • Emergency food providers were able to increase the amount of food they distributed by roughly 20 percent, thanks to increased donations from federal, state, and private sources.

Foreign Assistance Reform

  • The House Foreign Affairs Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA), has been working to rewrite the Foreign Assistance Act, which has remained largely unchanged since its adoption in 1961. The new legislation will likely be introduced this spring. It is expected to incorporate changes that will help achieve the goal of Bread’s 2009 Offering of Letters — making foreign assistance more effective and accountable.
  • This week, Senate Foreign Relations Committee leadership plans to introduce legislation to reauthorize State Department activities.
  • The interim findings of the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review are expected to be released in February.  Additionally, the recommendations of the Presidential Study Directive — a comprehensive assessment of U.S. development assistance — will likely be presented to President Obama in March. These reviews are additional important steps toward making foreign assistance more effective.

FY10 Budget

  • The omnibus FY2010 spending bill that was signed into law before Christmas 2009 incorporated appropriations for State Department/Foreign Operations, including most funding for poverty-focused development assistance.
  • Poverty-focused development assistance saw an increase of $1.66 billion over FY2009 levels.
  • The 2010 appropriation is $21.96 billion, nearly triple the amount allotted in 2000.

 

ACT NOW

Urge your members of Congress to protect and strengthen key tax credits that can make a big difference for low-income workers and their families.

  • The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) alone lifts more than 5 million Americans annually above the poverty line, including 2.6 million children.
  • The EITC, the Child Tax Credit, and other measures are effective, but more must be done. In 2008, nearly one in four children lived in a family struggling to put food on the table.
Sen. _____
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510
 and   Rep. _____
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121
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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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