Washington Update for the Week of Feb. 25, 2013
A regular legislative update
from Bread for the World's government relations team.
to Action: Ask the
administration and your members
of Congress to replace the automatic cuts known as sequestration with a comprehensive, balanced, and bipartisan approach to
deficit reduction. The final package must protect programs for hungry and
poor people and includes increased revenue. Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or use our toll free number: 1-800-826-3688.
Bread for the World's 2013 Offering of Letters, "A Place at the Table," launches today. The 2013 Offering of Letters asks you to sign a petition to the president as well as write letters to Congress. You can order a kit here, if you haven't already done so, and be sure to contact your regional organizer for more information about the campaign. The documentary A Place at the Table opens in theaters, iTunes and on demand today as well.
Write Letters to Congress: ask your senators and representative to protect programs vital to hungry and poor people.
The most immediate threat to programs addressing hunger and poverty is sequestration, which goes into effect today. Sequestration imposes a 5.3 percent across the board cut to federal programs like WIC and poverty-focused development assistance (PFDA) for the remainder of fiscal year 2013. For more on sequestration basics and a list of anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs that are affected, you can download our fact sheet, "The Consequences of Sequestration."
Congress is considering a number of proposals to eliminate the sequester for the remainder of the fiscal year. However, some of the proposals unfairly place the burden on programs such as WIC, PFDA, and other programs that help lift people out of poverty. We are urging Congress to replace the sequester with a bipartisan, balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes smart spending cuts and new revenues.
Political leaders will be paying close attention to the nation’s reaction to the sequester as we lead up to the next fiscal showdown later in March, the expiration of the continuing resolution currently keeping the government funded. If there is significant outrage over the impact of the cuts, Congress will address the sequester when it takes up the rest of the budget for FY2013 by March 27. If public opinion isn’t forceful enough, we are likely to see these cuts become the new normal and vital programs will be underfunded for years to come.
Stay tuned for an action alert next week as we learn more; encourage your friends and family to get involved. Building momentum and political will in the next few weeks is critical and will require a loud constituency. Phone calls, messages through social media, and emails to members of Congress will be essential to saving these programs.
Petition the President to set a goal and work with Congress on a plan to end hunger in the United States and abroad.
We now have more than 7000 signatures on the petition asking President Barak Obama to set a goal and work with Congress to end hunger at home and abroad. If you haven’t already done so, sign the petition today, and encourage others in your network to join you.
This week, nearly 100 pastors and religious leaders from across a wide spectrum of the church addressed our nation’s leaders through a joint letter. They counseled President Barak Obama, Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to be clear about the moral choices they are making, as the Bible tells us that the government has responsibilities concerning poor people.
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