Congressional update 3/2. Don’t balance the budget on the backs of the poor.

March 3, 2011 at 5:27 am Leave a comment

Washington Update on the 112th Congress

Inside Washington

  • Congress has returned to work in Washington following last week’s President’s Day recess.

Bread’s Issues

2011 Budget

  • House and Senate leaders struck a deal yesterday that provides funding for the government for two more weeks, thus avoiding a shutdown for the moment. Both the House and the Senate are expected to approve the bill by March 3.
  • (On March 1, the House passed a two-week extension, funding the government until March 18 while the House and Senate work out an agreement for the rest of the fiscal year. The extension itself contains $4 billion in cuts—roughly two weeks’ worth of the $60 billion in cuts in the House bill. But because the cuts include earmarks as well as cuts identified in the president’s 2012 budget request, Senate Democrats have signaled they will pass the two-week extension).
  • The Senate will not agree to the spending cuts for the remainder of FY2011 that were passed by the House on February 19. The House proposal includes cuts that would harm hungry and poor people, including survivors of conflict and natural disasters overseas who receive U.S. food aid and low-income infants and young children who participate in WIC here at home.

2012 Budget

  • On February 14, President Obama sent his budget request for fiscal year 2012 to Congress.
  • The total international affairs request is $61.4 billion. This request includes more than $1 billion for Feed the Future, the U.S. global food security initiative.
  • Overall, the president’s request supports U.S. programs that serve low-income people. The proposal would restore the cuts to SNAP funding included in the child nutrition bill passed late last year. The budget request also includes money for new grants to expand school breakfast programs as well as “child hunger challenge” grants for states. Both grant programs were created under the 2010 child nutrition reauthorization and respond to Bread’s priorities for better access and participation in nutrition programs.
  • However, the request includes a 50 percent cut for both LIHEAP, which helps low-income families pay their heating and cooling bills, and community development block grants.

Act Now

Call both your senators and tell them that in balancing the budget, they must stand firm against budget cuts to programs that help hungry and poor people.

Points to Make:

  • In the wake of the economic downturn, these programs are more important than ever.
  • Low-income programs make up only a fraction of the budget. Cutting them will not reduce the deficit and would only create further hardship for millions of families.

Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Save the Date!

Please hold the dates for Bread for the World’s National Gathering 2011: June 11-14, 2011, in Washington, DC. We have something new for the National Gathering an international meeting with experts on reducing malnutrition among the world’s children. Lobby Day on June 14 will also be part of the National Gathering.

Please put June 11-14 on your calendar now.

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Entry filed under: Legislative Updates.

Washington Update on the 112th Congress – 2011-02-14 Bread Monthly Conference call (3/7 @6pm) and House Budget cuts that target the poor

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