Congressional Update 6/22

June 23, 2010 at 5:27 am Leave a comment

Congressional Update during the 111th Congress

Inside Washington

  • Bread for the World hosted its 2010 class of Hunger Justice Leaders last week. The 75 participants, ages 20 to 30, were from 34 different states and represented the spectrum of denominations and Christian faith traditions.
  • On June 15, Bread for the World hosted its annual Lobby Day. Nearly 300 people from 108 congressional districts attended. They met with 172 different congressional offices, asking their members of Congress to make permanent the current Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit levels.
  • Rajiv Shah, administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, said during a June 18 speech that the administration’s major reviews on development policies will be released to the public. The White House’s Presidential Study Directive on Global Development will be released this summer and the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review will be released this fall.
  • The House’s August recess is now scheduled to begin July 30, a week earlier than previously scheduled, which shortens time for action on legislation.
  • Secretary Hillary Clinton praised Bread during the June 16 announcement of the World Food Prize: “… Bread for the World has done an extraordinary job in not only providing positive responses in the fight against hunger, but in helping to really lead the way in terms of development and urging the United States to improve coordination and better target our investments, and to learn from local communities—all lessons that we have embraced and applied .…”

Bread’s Issues

Tax Credits for Low-Income Working Families

  • Congress will act on the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts before the end of the year—possibly during their July work period. Stay tuned!
  • Advocates who could not be present during Bread’s Lobby Day called their senators’ and representatives’ offices, delivering the same message. About 654 calls were placed through Bread’s special toll-free number alone. Thank you to all who lobbied in Washington and by phone!

Child Nutrition Reauthorization

  • The administration has requested an additional $1 billion a year in new investments for child nutrition programs.
  • The House Education and Labor Committee submitted a bill titled “The Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act” (H.R. 5504). The committee hopes to hold a hearing and possibly mark up the bill before the July 4 recess.
  • Thanks partly to quick action by Bread members, an amendment to support the $1 billion increase—introduced by Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), and Sanford Bishop (D-GA)—passed May 27 on a vote of 341-85.
  • On the Senate side, staff members from the Agriculture Committee and leadership offices are pushing to get the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (S.3307), passed by the Senate Agriculture Committee, to the floor for a vote.
  • On June 15, Bread staff and a group of church leaders met with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who said ending childhood hunger was a top priority for the administration and for him personally. He thanked Bread members for their work and encouraged us to continue urging Congress to approve the resources hungry children need.

2011 Budget and Appropriations

  • Bread members helped secure the signatures of 37 senators on a letter urging Senate Appropriations Committee chair Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and ranking member Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) to allocate no less than the administration’s request of $58.8 billion for the international affairs budget. Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Christopher Bond (R-MO), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) originated the letter.

Act Now

  • Ask your members of Congress to make the current Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit levels permanent.
  • If Congress fails to preserve the Child Tax Credit at its current level, a full-time working parent receiving the minimum wage will receive only a $320 credit instead of the current $1,800 credit. The difference—$1,480—is a modest amount of money that has a big impact on the lives of families struggling to make ends meet.
  • If the EITC and Child Tax Credit are not continued at current levels, 1.5 million people will fall below the poverty line, including 800,000 children.
Sen. _____
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510
 and   Rep. _____
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Entry filed under: Legislative Updates.

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