Tuesday, May 24, 2016

More on the Final Push for Passage of Global Food Security Act

The House of Representatives and the Senate each approved a version of the Global Food Security Act. Both H.R.1567 and S.1252  seek to authorize funding for global food security programs and international disaster assistance programs.

For procedural reasons, the House is now being asked to take a second vote, this time considering S.1252. The House Foreign Affairs Committee has already endorsed the Senate version of the bill, so that gives the measure more weight when it comes to the House floor.  The two bills are nearly identical, but there are a couple of differences, listed below. Bread for the World and other global anti-poverty organizations are asking Reps. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Ben Ray Lujan, and Steve Pearce to support S.1252 when it comes to the House floor. Each provides an opportunity for constituents to contact them directly.  Just click on their highlighted names to send a message urging support for S.1252.
  • Senate bill offers a strongly desired two-year authorization, rather than a single year authorization as it appears in the House bill. This 2 year authorization of the Senate bill will ensure continuity of effort and congressional oversight well into the next administration. CBO has found that even with a two year authorization, this bill will not increase spending.
  •  Senate bill also includes an authorization of appropriations for existing International Disaster Assistance activities, including the Emergency Food Security Program. This is NOT the Food for Peace program. This is the disaster assistance program that is feeding Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon; it is the program that enabled the US to be the first on the ground with life-saving aid in the Philippines and Nepal. It does not replace Food for Peace, it is filling the gaps and is critical to our national security.
  •  Senate bill includes an OMB cross-cutting reporting requirement that will provide even greater transparency about the use of foreign assistance funding.

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