House Majority Leader Cantor has responded to some of our criticisms, as well as those of faith leaders, service providers, and policymakers, on the new House Republican proposal to cut nearly 4 million people off SNAP in 2014, which the House will vote on later today. His response, like earlier statements from House leaders, misrepresents the House bill.
We’ve updated our analysis of the House Republican SNAP proposal to reflect the final language in the legislation, which Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) introduced Monday and is expected to go to the House floor this week. The bill would cut SNAP by at least $39 billion over ten years. As our report explains:
A recent article in The Hill on the House Republican SNAP (food stamp) bill that faces a floor vote this week (“GOP to push bill restoring work requirements for food stamps,” Sept. 12) is riddled with serious errors. All of them help to portray the House GOP proposal positively — which may not be surprising, since the article quotes only House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and a Cantor aide.
With SNAP participation having reached all-time highs in the past few years, some critics claim that the program is growing out of control and needs to be slashed. But, in reality, SNAP’s recent growth is temporary and shows that the program is working as designed.
House Republican leaders don’t typically argue that there’s an abundance of jobs and that the economy is doing fine. Nevertheless, that line of argument seems to underlie their proposal to cut at least 2 million poor jobless workers from SNAP.
Some House Republican leaders have sought to portray SNAP as rife with fraud and abuse to help justify their proposals to cut millions of people from the program and slash $40 billion from SNAP. The facts are not on their side. A history of bipartisan congressional oversight and strong attention to SNAP program integrity from the Agriculture Department (USDA) and states have made SNAP one of the most efficient and effective programs we have.
House Republican leaders would have Americans believe that large numbers of young men have chosen to try to live on SNAP benefits alone (which average under $1.40 per person per meal across all SNAP recipients, as the first post in this series noted) in order to avoid work and go surfing. Nonsense.
With the House expected to vote in coming weeks on a proposal to “mindlessly gut” SNAP (formerly food stamps), as today’s New York Timeseditorial puts it, proponents are circulating misleading information about both the program and the proposed cuts. We will be issuing a series of posts, of which this is the first, that aims to set the record straight.