Late Sunday night, President Obama and Congressional leaders agreed to a deal to raise the debt ceiling, preventing the government from a potentially catastrophic credit default. The deal raises the debt ceiling through 2012 while making immediate cuts to discretionary spending and creating a special Joint Committee of Congress to propose a plan for further deficit reduction. The House and Senate passed the measure, and the president is expected to sign it on Tuesday afternoon.
While the potential consequences of an unprecedented government default would have been far more devastating for low-income Americans, Second Harvest North Central Food Bank along with Feeding America remains deeply concerned about the potential impact this deal would have on nutrition assistance and other safety-net programs.
Although much uncertainty remains, one thing is clear—the need to effectively communicate the importance of protecting federal nutrition programs is more important than ever.
As a result of the debt ceiling agreement, we will need everyone involved with hunger relief—food banks, clients, local agencies, the government, board members, donors, and partners—to help us carry our message.