Senate Approves Drastic Cuts to SNAP
Washington, DC, June 11, 2013
Yesterday, the Senate passed its version of the farm bill, which included $4.1 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the food stamp program). The Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013 (S.954) could impact nearly half a million families and would reduce monthly SNAP benefits by $90. It was passed with 66 yes votes and 27 no votes.
“This vital program has prevented our nation’s economic crisis from turning into a hunger crisis,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “At a time where we still have significant long-term unemployment and low wages, hungry Americans will find it more difficult to put food on their tables if lawmakers enact these cuts.”
The bill includes an amendment that bars certain ex-offenders from ever receiving SNAP. Bread for the World warns that the amendment’s implications would reach far beyond those individuals, reducing SNAP benefits for their young children and family members.
On the other hand, the bill does increase funding for the international food aid Local and Regional Procurement program.
“Increased funding for food aid is a good first step, as it will encourage purchasing commodities from local farmers, helping to promote self-sufficiency,” Beckmann added. “However, many international food aid programs remain at risk as the farm bill heads to the House of Representatives.”
The fight to protect programs vital to poor and hungry people is far from over. The House of Representatives is expected to consider its version of the farm bill as early as next week. The House version includes $21 billion in proposed cuts to SNAP. If that bill passes, both bills will have to be reconciled in conference.
Bread for the World members and activists are in Washington, D.C., today, speaking out against cuts to domestic and international nutrition programs on Capitol Hill. To join the conversation on Twitter, please use hashtag #BreadRising.
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
Fito Moreno, Interim Media Relations Manager, 202-688-1138