What has Congress been up to? Farm Bill, Immigration Update.

Time sure does fly by! Congress returned from recess and hit the ground running with a number of big pieces of legislation, most notably the Farm Bill and Immigration Reform.  Our staff members are busy keeping up with the latest movements on Capitol Hill to ensure to that our brothers and sisters who are poor and vulnerable don’t go unrepresented as legislation is deliberated and voted on.

On Monday evening, the Senate passed the Farm Bill, which is an immense piece of legislation that sets the country’s food and agriculture programs and policy for the next five years. Thanks to your phone calls and emails, there were no additional cuts made to the Food for Peace program that saves people’s lives in times of dire emergencies and combats chronic hunger in poor communities around the world. In addition, we were pleased to see that some positive reforms were adopted to the Food for Peace program. The reforms give aid workers on the ground more flexibility to employ interventions best suited to local conditions and to replace monetization, the practice of selling food commodities to support development programs. Unfortunately, cuts were made to the nation’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and other programs that help hungry people here in the United States.

As we’ve previously shared, the next step for the Farm Bill legislation is in the House of Representatives. We understand that the House is likely to begin working on their version of the Farm Bill starting next week. Your voice will be needed yet again to ensure that the House’s version of the Farm Bill feeds hungry people, promotes stewardship of creation, fosters small family farmers and helps rural communities. Please keep a lookout in your email inbox for the upcoming action alert. Your voice will make a difference!

Also this week, the Senate began work on Immigration Reform legislation. Catholics Confront Global Poverty supports the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Justice for Immigrants Campaign as we work together to create a more just immigration system that reunites families, preserves communities, strengthens our nation, and upholds the dignity of our vulnerable brothers and sisters. In the coming weeks, we will share more information on the proposed legislation and invite you to take action so please stay tuned!

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