From Mark Dunlea
The House Agriculture Committee will take up the Farm Bill next week.
Cong. Sean Patrick Maloney is the one Democrat from NY on the House
2/3 of funding in the Farm bill is for Food Stamps / SNAP. Sen. Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, has proposed raising SNAP benefits by 30%. Unfortunately, the Senate has rejected this and instead wants to cut spending by $4 billion (over 10 years) by making it cutting food stamp benefits for families in public housing by $90 a month.
The House wants to go much further, pushing cuts of more than $20 billion.
Please call Cong. Maloney (202 225-5441) and urge him to oppose any cuts to SNAP – and better yet, to support increasing SNAP benefits. He should at least sign on to H. Resolution 90.
Cong. Maloney does oppose the House Republican proposed cuts to SNAP but not necessarily all cuts. Cong. Maloney apparently has not yet signed on House Resolution 90 opposing all SNAP cuts (120 members have, including 15 from NY, which includes Lowey).
Cong. Maloney has agreed to co-sponsor two good farm bill reforms that we should thank him for. The Local Farms, Food & Jobs Act (S.679 / H.R.1414) expands opportunities for local and regional food production and increases access to fresh, healthy foods. The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act (S.837 / H.R.1727) expands access to land, credit, training and crop insurance for the next generation of farmers.
For more background on the Farm Bill, see http://www.opednews.com/articles/Farm-Bill-Needs-to-Embrace-by-Mark-Dunlea-130509-12.html
Talking Points on SNAP
1) This $20 billion cut will result in taking food away from needy families in New York State. The idea that these cuts are merely “administrative” is not the case. Limiting Categorical Eligibility and LIHEAP will reduce SNAP benefits for hundreds of thousands within New York. The cut to LIHEAP will result in a $90/month benefit cut to families receiving SNAP and LIHEAP. 270,000 of those families live in New York State. The Cat El cut alone would cause loss of SNAP eligibility for at least 1.8 million people across the country and loss of direct certification for free school meals for 280,000 children in those SNAP households.
2) At a time like this when families are still struggling in NY to get back on their feet after the recession, now is not the time to be cutting SNAP, our nation’s first line of defense against hunger.
3) Public opinion is against cutting SNAP in the name of deficit reduction: FRAC’s polling data http://frac.org/pdf/snap_poll_may2013_hart_memo.pdf .
4) The Republicans will absolutely have enough votes to move the bill out of committee. Voting for a bill with these cuts will only strengthen the position of Republicans when the Farm Bill is reconciled with the Senate version. House Dems need to hold the line in opposing these cuts, as 125 members currently are http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5118/p/salsa/web/common/public/content?content_item_KEY=10936 by cosponsoring H. Res. 90.