The Shame and the Light of Today’s SNAP Vote
Just weeks after the USDA reported that 14.5% of American households struggled to put food on the table, today the House of Representatives passed, 217-210, a shameful bill that cuts $40 billion to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps). Such a move would end benefits for approximately 3.8 million low-income people and deny 210,000 children school lunch and breakfast. At a time of instability in the economy, high numbers of unemployment and hunger, it is indefensible that any lawmaker that claims to want to help Americans would vote for such a horrendous bill.
But out of the darkness there is light! And today heroes existed. Heroes like Representatives Jim McGovern, Jackie Speier, Marcia Fudge, and Rosa DeLauro who stood up for the hard working families struggling with hunger. Along with all the Democrats in the House, 15 Republicans voted against their party’s leadership and voted “No” on this bill.
So what is next?
Both the Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow and President Obama have said the $40 billion cut is a non-starter. Today’s House bill is officially part of the Farm Bill. In the spring, the Senate passed a bi-partisan Farm Bill that cut $4.5 billion to SNAP (still an unacceptable amount). Now the House and the Senate must conference their bills.
The fight is not over! It is important that we still stand up for families who are struggling to put food on their tables and tell Congress that no child should go to bed hungry.
What do you think Congress should do? What do you think about today’s House vote? We would love to hear from you in the comments section.