Last week, the House of Representatives surprised itself and others by voting down the Farm Bill. The House version of the Farm Bill proposed cutting food stamps (SNAP) by $2 billion per year over the next ten years. So, voting it down was a good thing. Children and the elderly comprise the major recipients.
The bill’s demise was due to controversy regarding SNAP. Some representatives could not abide the deep cuts - and had proposed amendments to reduce them (these did not pass). Other representatives wanted the SNAP cuts to be far deeper. Then Representative Southerland (FL) got an amendment passed requiring that any able-bodied person applying for SNAP must be employed, or actively seeking employment – even a single mother with toddlers, many persons with disabilities, and many seniors.
This seemed to be the final nail to kill the bill.
Now, Rep. Southerland is proposing that the bill come back to the House floor, minus his amendment. That does not resolve the terrible cuts to the program, which would effectively cut $90 per month from the average SNAP payment, and eliminate many families entirely. Additionally, the bill as it is would deny school meal programs for as many as millions of children next school year. Free and reduced lunches are tied to SNAP.
What are we doing to our next generation of leaders if we are starving our children (about 25% received SNAP)? And, how are we thanking our elders for all they have provided to us?