September 26, 2013
U.S. House votes to cut food aid by $40 billion
Record long-term unemployment and expired unemployment benefits are two reasons enrollment in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) remains high, according the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
SNAP a.k.a. “Food Stamps” is one of our most effective anti-poverty programs. Most households on food stamps include children, the disabled, the elderly, and even our active duty military members and veterans. And with 4 out of 10 Americans with a job living each week paycheck to paycheck, programs like SNAP are more important now than ever before.
Last Thursday, on a party-line vote of 217-210 with unanimous Democratic opposition, U.S. House Republicans passed a bill that would cut $40 billion from the food stamp program, a move the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said could leave 4 million Americans without food stamps next year.
“Why am I on food stamps?” asked combat veteran Jason Kirell. “The same reason everyone on food stamps is on food stamps: because I would very much enjoy not starving.”
I didn’t risk my life in Afghanistan so I could come back and watch people go hungry in America. I certainly didn’t risk it so I could come back and go hungry.
Anyone who genuinely supports cutting food stamps is not an intellectual or an ideologue — they’re a bully.
And nobody likes a bully. Except other bullies. — Jason Kirell, 9/20/13 [emphasis added]
Cuts to SNAP that are already set to take effect in November will leave food stamp recipients with just $1.40 to spend per meal.
Meanwhile, many members of Congress who just voted to cut $40 billion from food stamps have taken travel reimbursements of as much as $200 for a single meal only for themselves, charges Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) leveled during debate in the House:
“In my district, California 14, we have about 4,000 families who are on food stamps, but some of my colleagues have thousands and thousands more,” Rep. Speier said. “Yet, they somehow feel like crusaders, like heroes when they vote to cut food stamps. Some of these same members travel to foreign countries under the guise of official business. They dine at lavish restaurants, eating steak, vodka and even caviar. They receive money to do this. That’s right, they don’t pay out of pocket for these meals.” — Rep. Jackie Speier
Voting for the cuts from North Carolina:
- Ellmers (R-2nd)
- Foxx (R-5th)
- Coble (R-6th)
- Hudson (R-8th)
- Pittenger (R-9th)
- McHenry (R-10th)
- Meadows (R-11th)
- Holding (R-13th)
Voting against the cuts:
- Jones (R-3rd)
- McIntyre (D-7th)
- Price (D-4th)
- Watt (D-12th)
Want to let your member of Congress know how you feel about bullies cutting food stamps for children, the elderly, and members of our military? Call the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202-225-3121.