Congressional Update 4/27/2010

April 28, 2010 at 5:40 am Leave a comment

Congressional Update during the 111th Congress

Bread’s Issues

Tax Credits, Poverty-Focused Development Assistance, and the 2011 Budget

  • On Thursday, April 22, the Senate Budget Committee approved its FY11 budget resolution. It proposes permanently extending the income threshold of $3,000 to qualify for the Child Tax Credit as well as marriage penalty relief for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
  • The bill also proposes maintaining the EITC benefit for families with three or more children but requires an offset to pay for it.
  • The bill cuts the administration’s request for international affairs by $4 billion or 7 percent despite bipartisan support for increased funding for poverty-focused development assistance. In fact, the bill’s entire cut in discretionary spending comes from the international affairs budget.
  • The next step would be for the Senate Budget Committee resolution to go to the Senate floor. Yet the timing is uncertain since the Senate is waiting to see what course of action the House will take on the budget. The House is unclear when it will act on a budget resolution. Stay tuned!

Child Nutrition Reauthorization

  • The Senate Agriculture Committee passed a child nutrition bill that includes $450 million in increased resources for child nutrition—less than half of the $1 billion requested in the administration’s budget request.
  • Discussions are in progress to determine where additional funds to meet the $1 billion request might come from. Senate Finance Committee members are looking for funds and at the same time, Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, is working with House leadership and members of the House Ways and Means Committee to make up the shortfall. The House is expected to act on the resolution soon.
  • Bread for the World and other groups focused on hunger and increased access to nutrition programs continue to press for the full $1 billion in funding to help meet the goal of ending childhood hunger in the United States by 2015.

Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative

  • On April 7, 2010, the Secretary of State announced the establishment of the Office of the Coordinator for the Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative—yet there was no coordinator named.
  • Ambassador William Garvelink will serve as Deputy Coordinator for Development. He is currently U.S. ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ambassador Patricia Haslach will serve as Deputy Coordinator for Diplomacy. She is currently the Assistant Chief of Mission for Assistance Transition in Baghdad, Iraq.

Nutrition Programs

  • SNAP, formerly food stamps, had its 14th straight month of record participation levels in January 2010 (the most recent month for which data is available).
  • One in eight people in the United States—or 39.4 million people—are now enrolled in SNAP. They receive an average monthly benefit of $133.25, or about $1.48 per meal.
  • The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides funding for 9.1 million low-income people so they can afford additional nutritious food. These funds help 2.2 million infants and 4.8 million children younger than 5 annually. The average monthly WIC benefit is about $42.
  • State participation rates for SNAP can be found here and for WIC here.

Global Maternal/Child Nutrition

  • In non-Capitol Hill news: For the first time, development agencies, multilateral agencies, and civil society organizations have agreed on an international strategy to reduce malnutrition among mothers and children. Some 3 million mothers and children die of malnutrition every year.
  • The World Bank’s Scaling Up Nutrition: A Framework for Action, just released, prioritizes cost-effective and proven interventions to fight malnutrition among children younger than 2 and pregnant women. It was endorsed by some 80 senior government officials, leaders of multilateral agencies, and development professionals.
  • Bread for the World has been deeply involved in the drafting of the plan. In fact, Bread President David Beckmann was the only nongovernmental representative to address the roundtable discussion where the plan was presented.

Act Now

  • Please call your representative by noon on Friday, April 30, at Bread’s special toll-free number: 1-800-826-3688. Urge him or her to sign onto the Dear Colleague letter being circulated by Reps. James McGovern (D-MA) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) in support of an additional $1 billion per year for child nutrition reauthorization.
  • Today, nearly one in four children in the United States is at risk of hunger. We need adequate funding from Congress—at least $1 billion annually in the next five years—to address this problem.
  • The child nutrition bill will strengthen programs such as school lunches, school breakfasts, summer nutrition programs, and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. These are critical in protecting children from hunger and in improving their nutrition.

Rep. Wu
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Add Your Voice on Lobby Day

Bread for the World needs your voice in Washington for critical votes on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit, along with the child nutrition reauthorization. Mark your calendars to join us June 15!

Visit www.bread.org/lobbyday for more information and to register.

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Entry filed under: Legislative Updates.

OFRAH Hunger Conferecne – May 5th Oregon Foodbank action alert

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