Nutrition assistance programs have been significantly threatened by budgets proposed for the 2014 fiscal year. The “Responsible, Balanced Budget” presented by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan would negatively impact SNAP, WIC, and other programs that help low-income families. Although over 90% of SNAP federal spending goes directly to needy families, the GOP’s budget proposes cutting the program by $135 billion over the next decade. Ryan also suggests reformatting the entire SNAP program and replacing it with lower-funded block grants, so states can “customize” the program. Additionally the budget proposes $1.1 trillion in spending cuts to non-defense discretionary programs over the next ten years. This would impact WIC and similar programs that assist low-income families. In total 62% of the House Budget Committee’s proposed cuts would come from low-income programs. If passed, the House budget would be detrimental to those in need.
NETWORK believes that threatening the essential needs of the most vulnerable is not the proper way to invest in our nation’s future. The budget proposed by the Senate Budget Committee for fiscal year 2014 is much closer to a federal budget that upholds each individual’s right to life and dignity. While aiming to reduce the deficit and maintain economic recovery, the Senate Budget seeks to do so in a way which does not burden the most vulnerable Americans. NETWORK supports a Senate Budget that avoids cuts that decrease the deficit at the expense of low-income families.
When preparing the federal budget, NETWORK advocates concern for vulnerable and low-income families, especially regarding nutrition assistance and other programs that act as safety nets and provide basic human needs.