The Senate on May 21 rejected an amendment by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N,Y., that would block a 10-year, $4.1 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as SNAP or the food stamp program) that was included in the farm bill that is now up for reauthorization. Twenty-eight Democrats sided with all 42 Senate Republicans in opposing this amendment, which if passed would have prevented thousands of low-income households from losing as much as $75 a month in benefits.
The Republican agenda concerning SNAP is clear: They want to shrink the program, not by improving the economy so there’s less need for it, but by providing fewer benefits to fewer people, and by making those benefits harder to obtain. What’s not clear is why 28 Senate Democrats would side with Republicans in denying economically struggling people access to food.
That’s why Campaign for America’s Future today has partnered with Daily Kos to get signatures on this petition asking those 28 Democrats to “put low-income families ahead of corporate welfare—and to oppose draconian cuts to food stamps.”
Gillibrand’s amendment aimed to stop a reduction in funding for SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), by reducing crop insurance reimbursements to providers.
The danger of cuts to SNAP are obvious. As of last month, according to Agriculture Department statistics, approximately 23 million households use the food stamp program. This is about one in five households in America. Last year, 47 million people used SNAP.
The food stamp program has already been subject to cuts in the past, and the failure of the Senate to pass Gillibrand’s amendment will result in even more low-income families being forced off a program that is crucial to their welfare and provides them with access to food assistance.
In addition, resolving the issue of cuts to food stamps is necessary for an agreement from the House and the Senate on passing an agriculture bill. Conservatives continue to push for cuts to food stamps as being a part of this bill: The cuts to nutrition assistance approved by the Republican majority in the House bill are far deeper than those in the Senate bill. As long as these 28 Senate Democrats side with them, it will be impossible to restore the $4.1 billion to SNAP that it needs.
Urge these Senate Democrats to consider the needs of low-income households that depend on these food stamps and oppose the cuts to the food stamp program. Sign the petition and show your support.