Congressional Update 5/25

May 26, 2010 at 6:18 am Leave a comment

Congressional Update during the 111th Congress

Inside Washington

  • On May 20, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs hosted a symposium on food security as part of its Global Agricultural Development Initiative. USAID Administrator Raj Shah announced the final implementation guidelines of the administration’s new Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, Feed the Future. Bread for the World was a co-sponsor of the event.
  • Congress will be on Memorial Day recess the week of May 31, returning to work in Washington on June 6.

Bread’s Issues

Tax Credits for Low-Income Families

  • Congress is working to pass legislation to extend a package of tax credits and social safety net programs. The House is likely to take up the bill early this week, with the Senate considering the bill soon afterward.
  • The bill includes an extension of unemployment benefits as well as additional funding for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Fund, which assists states with programs that include employment programs for low-income workers.
  • Now until the August congressional recess is a critical time for decisions on tax policies. There is momentum building in Congress around the middle-class tax package, which will include the tax credits Bread is working on—the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.

Child Nutrition Reauthorization                

  • Bread continues to press for a full $1 billion in additional funding for child nutrition programs, as requested by the administration.
  • Stay tuned as the House Education and Labor Committee prepares to take up a child nutrition reauthorization bill.

2011 Budget and Appropriations

  • The FY11 budget resolution approved by the Senate Budget Committee cut funding for the international affairs account by $4 billion (7 percent).
  • A bipartisan group of senators, led by Sens. John Kerry (D-MA), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Kit Bond (R-MO), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), have written a letter urging Senate Appropriations Committee leadership to allocate no less than the administration’s full request of $58.8 billion for the international affairs budget. As of May 24, 28 senators have co-signed the letter.
  • The international affairs budget supports effective programs that reduce poverty by improving agriculture, nutrition, health, water, and education in developing countries.

Global Food Security

  • On May 19, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) announced the reintroduction of S. 384, the Lugar-Casey-McCollum Global Food Security Act.
  • The bill calls for a comprehensive U.S. global food security strategy, emphasizing agricultural and rural development policies that are integrated into a national strategy for global development.
  • The bill also urges the appointment of a Special Coordinator for Food Security, the establishment of a congressional Joint Committee on Hunger, and a Rapid Response to Food Crises Account to speed the U.S. response to hunger emergencies.

Act Now

  • Call your senators through our special toll-free number (1-800-826-3688) by 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 26.
  • Urge them to sign on to the bipartisan Kerry/Lugar “Dear Colleague” letter calling on Senate Appropriations Committee leaders to support full funding for the international affairs account in the FY 2011 budget.
  • The international affairs budget is in danger of being cut by $4 billion.
  • Although the international affairs account is less than 1.5 percent of the entire federal budget, its impact is enormous in alleviating the hunger and extreme poverty that affects millions of people around the world.

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 child nutrition reauthorization. Mark your calendars to join us in Washington, DC, June 15!

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

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50% off Bread Store Stuff until memorial Day Oregon Hunger Task Force Meeting & Field Hearing, 6/10

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