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Washington, D.C. – The $6.5 trillion in cuts over 10 years in the proposed 2017 budget by the House of Representatives will push millions more American working families and children into hunger and poverty. The spending cuts target programs that assist poor and working-class families, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as food stamps) and Medicaid.
“Budget cuts of this magnitude will have devastating consequences for working families and their children, potentially pushing millions further into hunger and poverty,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Right now, more than 48 million Americans struggle to put food on the table. If these spending cuts are put into place, this number will rise dramatically.”
The 2017 budget proposed by the House of Representatives calls for $3.5 billion in cuts over the next 10 years to programs that provide assistance to poor and working-class families. It also requires lawmakers to find more than $30 billion in savings over the next two years. In addition to proposing deep cuts to SNAP and Medicaid, the House is considering limiting families’ eligibility for the child tax credit.
The proposed budget would also repeal the Affordable Care Act, and cut Medicaid by more than $1 trillion over ten years. This would push tens of millions of people onto the rolls of uninsured Americans. Currently, one out of three people with chronic medical conditions must choose between treating these conditions or feeding themselves and their families.
The spending cuts would also impact overseas poverty-focused development-assistance programs.
“It has been a long time since our country has made ending hunger and poverty a national priority,” added Beckmann. “If we want this to happen, then we must vote people in to office who will do something about it. We need to have members of Congress who will solve hunger and poverty, not worsen it for America's working families and children.”
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition in the fiscal year 2020 budget.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.