The House’s passage today of the Republican leadership’s bill to cut SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) by almost $40 billion over the next decade marks a new low for an already dysfunctional Congress. It would increase hunger and hardship all across our country.
By cutting food assistance for at least 3.8 million low-income people in the coming year — including some of the very poorest Americans, many children and senior citizens, and even veterans — this cruel, if not heartless, legislation could jeopardize a vital stepping stone to many families who are still struggling to find work or who depend on low-wage jobs. As the nation slowly climbs out of the deepest recession in decades — with 22 million people still unemployed or underemployed — millions of families rely on SNAP to help feed their children.
SNAP recipients already are preparing for an across-the-board cut in their SNAP benefits beginning in November that will reduce their modest benefits to less than $1.40 per person per meal.
For decades, policymakers have shared a bipartisan commitment to reducing hunger and hardship. This legislation turns its back on that commitment. Senators should firmly reject these harsh cuts and send the President a bill that does not take food off the table of many of our most vulnerable fellow Americans.