Victory for Hunger Advocates: First U.S. Global Development Policy Released

September 29, 2010 at 3:43 am Leave a comment

Congressional Update during the 111th Congress

Inside Washington

  • Fiscal year 2010 ends this Thursday, September 30. To keep the government running, Congress will need to pass a continuing resolution to continue funding government operations at 2010 levels.
  • Both houses of Congress plan to go into recess for the elections by the end of this week. Congress is expected to return for a lame duck legislative session in November.
  • Fresh Bread will resume publication when Congress reconvenes after the November 2 elections.

Bread’s Issues

Tax Credits for Low-Income Working Families

  • A group of 41 House Democrats called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to schedule a vote before this week’s planned adjournment on a tax bill that would extend middle-class tax cuts permanently but allow the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of the population to expire.
  • However, both House and Senate leadership have decided to postpone action on the tax provisions until after the mid-term elections. We expect leadership will include in the tax legislation the current Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit benefit levels that Bread for the World is working to make permanent.
  • Last week, Bread sent a letter signed by 39 faith leaders and organizations to all members of Congress. The letter urges Congress to address the long-term fiscal imbalance in a way that protects and invests in critical low-income priorities, such as child nutrition and refundable tax credits.

Child Nutrition Reauthorization

  • The Senate passed its version of child nutrition reauthorization in August. To keep the reauthorization process moving, the House now must act.
  • The White House is urging passage of the Senate bill, but more than 100 members of the House have written House Speaker Pelosi that they oppose cutting SNAP/food stamp benefits to pay for the child nutrition bill.
  • Bread has been working to support child nutrition reauthorization but to improve the Senate bill by adding opportunities for more children to receive food and by opposing the use of SNAP cuts to pay for the bill.
  • Unless an agreement is reached, legislators will pass a short-term extension to fund child nutrition programs at 2010 budget levels, and work on the bill again during the lame duck session.

Poverty-Focused Development

  • President Obama released the first-ever U.S. Global Development Policy at the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDG) summit in New York last week. The new policy, developed as a result of last year’s Presidential Study Directive review of all U.S. development assistance, includes principles that Bread has been working on for the last two years. This is a key victory for Bread for the World members.
  • The strategy’s key points include:
    • elevating development within U.S. foreign policy;
    • rebuilding the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as the U.S. government’s lead development  agency;
    • preparing a global development strategy to be approved by the president every four years;
    • emphasizing coordination so that government agencies are not working at cross purposes; and
    • making a commitment to work in close partnership with Congress in establishing a shared vision on global development.
  • For information on USAID’s role in the new global development policy, and to listen to the president’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly, click here.
  • During the MDG summit, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ireland’s foreign minister launched the “1,000 Days” movement, a coalition focused on investing more resources in the 1,000 days from conception to a child’s second birthday. These 1,000 days are the critical window of development that shapes a child’s future. 
  • U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced a $40 billion pledge by the donor community for health initiatives. The goal is to save the lives of 16 million women and children in the next five years.
  • Bread President David Beckmann, the only “1,000 Days” speaker from a U.S. NGO, discussed the work of churches and development organizations on maternal/child health issues. About 100 organizations are committed to raising awareness and resources for global child nutrition programs through an initiative called Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN).

ACT NOW

  • Ask your member of Congress to pass a child nutrition bill by September 30 that improves the Senate version and is not funded by cuts to SNAP benefits.
  • The need for strong and accessible child nutrition programs has never been greater.  Nearly 15.5 million children are living in poverty – an increase of more than 2.1 million children since the beginning of the recession.
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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