The United States House of Representatives is in the midst of a food stamp showdown. House Republicans want to slash the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by nearly $40 billion dollars, and House Democrats are fighting it with all their might. The drastic cuts are almost ten times the amount approved by the U.S. Senate in June as part of the farm bill. At that time, House Republicans stripped food assistance out of the their version of the farm bill, and approved about $200 billion in subsidies for big corporate farms.
While the drastic cuts proposed by the House would never be approved by the democratically-controlled Senate, they show just how little some lawmakers care about their fellow Americans. If these harsh cuts were ever enacted, the House plan would eliminate SNAP benefits for 3.5 million hungry Americans, and eliminate states’ ability to wave work requirements during times of high unemployment. In other words, no matter how bad our economy ever got, the House plan would force millions of people to go hungry.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the cuts “a new low” for Republicans, and said that all 200 House democrats plan to vote against the proposal. If House Republicans manage to pass these drastic cuts, they will still have to negotiate a compromise with Senate Democrats. And, the upper chamber has sharply criticized the House’s cuts as inhumane. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow said, “What the House Republicans are saying is this: Get a good-paying job or your family will just have to go hungry.” As this debate heats up, millions of Americans are calling Congress, and telling lawmakers to protect this vital program that so many rely on.