WASHINGTON, July 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bread for the World strongly opposes the 2014 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee.
U.S. poverty-focused development assistance comprises less than 1 percent of the federal budget. Most of these funds are appropriated through the State and Foreign Operations bill.
The House bill eliminates 26 percent of all development assistance—on top of the steep cuts made last year. Funding for multilateral organizations such as UNICEF would face even deeper cuts—an estimated 61 percent of the entire budget. In contrast, the Senate version of the bill maintains essentially the same State and Foreign Operations funding levels as last year.
"The House's version of the State and Foreign Operations bill demonstrates why Congress must replace sequestration with a balanced plan," said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. "Because of the across-the-board cuts of sequestration, we are seeing shameful proposals that threaten to undermine the significant progress against hunger that the world has achieved since 2000.
These proposed cuts come just days after more than 5,000 pastors signed a letter urging members of Congress to protect programs that alleviate hunger at home and abroad.
"We have an opportunity here to move closer to eradicating hunger, but these cuts would be a huge step backward," Beckmann said.
The House version would fall short of the president's budget request by $838 million. The Senate version of the State and Foreign Operations bill maintains funding for development agencies such as the U.S. Agency for International Development at about the same levels as last year. This will help protect anti-hunger programs such as Feed the Future from the effects of sequestration.
"By continuing to implement sequestration rules and prioritize defense appropriations, the House committee bill puts hungry and poor people at greater risk. We must let Congress know that we should not balance the budget on the backs of poor people," Beckmann concluded.
Bread for the World (www.bread.org) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
SOURCE Bread for the World