Hunger legislative Update

March 17, 2011 at 6:53 am Leave a comment

Washington Update on the 112th Congress

Inside Washington

  • Congress continues its focus on issues surrounding the budget for the remainder of FY2011.
  • The continuing resolution (CR) that is temporarily funding government operations expires this Friday, March 18. Before then, the House and Senate will pass another CR to keep the government running through April 8.

Bread’s Issues

2011 Budget

  • Last week, senators voted on two budget bills, both of which required 60 votes to pass—both failed.
  • The first vote was on the bill passed by the House in February, which contained $61 billion in cuts to discretionary spending. It was voted down by a vote of 44-56. All Democrats plus three conservative Republicans—who favor deeper cuts—opposed the bill.
  • A second bill proposed by Senate Democrats would have cut a total of $6.5 billion from the budget for the remainder of FY2011. It failed by a vote of 42-58. All Republicans, 10 moderate Democrats, and one Independent opposed this bill.
  • This week, both the House and Senate will vote on a new continuing resolution that would run through April 8. The draft resolution continues the $2 billion per week in cuts (the approximate weekly amount of the $61 billion in cuts in the bill that was passed by the House but rejected by the Senate). So far, the cuts mainly mirror those in the president’s FY2012 budget request.
  • Vice President Biden is working with congressional leaders to negotiate a compromise budget for the remainder of FY2011 (which ends September 30) before the new continuing resolution expires April 8.

Other Budget Concerns

2012 Budget

  • Work is beginning on the 2012 budget. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) has indicated he will release his budget the week of April 4.
  • The House Budget Committee will likely take up the budget resolution that week and send it to the House floor the following week. It is unlikely to pass in the Senate.

Debt Ceiling

  • The U.S. Treasury reports that the United States could reach its debt ceiling (the country’s credit limit) as early as April 15.
  • Once the debt ceiling is reached, the Treasury Department would not be able to borrow money to pay its current obligations—such as interest on the national debt—until Congress raises the debt limit. This has never happened in U.S. history.
  • Many members of Congress have said, however, that they will not vote to raise the debt ceiling unless it is accompanied by significant spending cuts or controls.

Deficit Reduction Commission

  • A bipartisan group of six senators is working to develop a comprehensive deficit reduction package based on the December 2010 recommendations from the President’s Fiscal Commission.

Act Now

Call your representative and senators and tell them that in reaching a compromise budget for the remainder of FY2011, they must stand firm against budget cuts to programs for hungry and poor people.

Points to Make:

  • In the wake of the economic downturn, these programs are more important than ever.
  • Domestic programs such as WIC, SNAP (formerly food stamps), and Head Start make up only a fraction of the budget. Cutting them will not reduce the deficit and will only create further hardship for millions of families.
  • Global hunger and poverty programs in developing countries account for less than 1 percent of the total budget. These vital humanitarian and development programs save lives and help alleviate the underlying causes of global hunger and poverty–all of which contribute to greater stability and prosperity at home and abroad.

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.

Ash Wednesday message from Bread President- David Beckmann Oregon Bread team Training, Sat March 19th in Portland

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