A few weeks ago, we wrote to you about the budget the House of Representatives was voting on and passed. We said that it would place a variety of children’s programs at risk of cuts. Last week, the House moved forward on making those specific cuts required by the budget they passed. This email focuses on the cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The House Republicans’ proposed cuts to nutrition assistance will kick 280,000 low-income children off automatic enrollment in the Free School Lunch and Breakfast Program. Those same kids and 1.5 million other people will also lose their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamp benefits) that help them afford food at home.
Ten years’ worth of these nutrition cuts could be prevented for the price of one year of tax cuts on 3,340 multimillion dollar estates that House Republicans are protecting in their budget.
On April 18, the House Agriculture Committee passed a bill cutting over $33 billion from SNAP over the next decade. About one-third of these cuts ($11.5 billion) comes from putting restrictions on “categorical eligibility,” a provision that enables states to better coordinate between programs and improves access to assistance for low-income families.
By restricting this provision, the bill would kick an average of 1.8 million low-income people a year off of food aid and end automatic enrollment in free school meals for 280,000 children in struggling families.
When it comes to reducing the deficit, it’s clear the House would rather ask low-income kids and families struggling against hunger to foot the bill than asking multimillion-dollar estates to pay their fair share. As part of the 2010 tax-cut compromise, House Republicans insisted on including a tax cut on multimillion dollar estates, adding an estimated $11.5 billion to the deficit this year alone. That’s the same amount they’re now claiming is necessary to cut from low-income families through these restrictions.
The US Senate has no plans to consider these cuts and the President has said he will veto them. However, the House plans on moving forward on these and other cuts that will harm the health, education, and safety of children. The full House will vote on them in the coming weeks. Please contact your Representative and tell them to vote NO on their planned budget cuts. Tell them to propose ways to reduce child hunger instead of taking away school lunches.