Democrats on House Nutrition Bill
Created by rrummel on 9/19/2013 2:22:51 PM

Opposition not a surprise

Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow says the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act being considered by the House would kick millions of children and their families off of food assistance. She says the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office finds that 14-million people will stop receiving food assistance over the next decade the right way - as the economy improves and they get back on their feet financially. But she says the bill from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor would eliminate families from food assistance the wrong way - eliminating food help to those most in need. According to Stabenow - millions would stop receiving assistance next year - including 1.7-million poor, unemployed adults with an average income of about 25-hundred dollars a year; 2.1-million low-income working families and seniors; and 210-thousand children who would lose school lunches.

Stabenow admits there have been occasions of fraud and abuse in the food assistance program. She says that’s why the Senate Farm Bill includes major reforms to crack down on misuse of the program to make sure the help goes to those who are truly in need. Stabenow says this bill in the House is nothing more than an extremely divisive, extremely partisan political exercise that is going nowhere. In addition - she says it is jeopardizing passage of a five-year farm bill. Stabenow says farmers, ranchers, small towns, rural communities, our children and families don’t deserve this. She says it’s time to stop the political games around hunger and poverty in America and time to work together to pass a farm bill, grow the economy and reduce the need for food assistance the right way.

Administration Strongly Opposes H.R. 3102

It should come as no surprise that the Administration strongly opposes H.R. 3102 - the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013. The Statement of Administration Policy notes the bill would result in millions of Americans losing access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - one of the nation’s strongest defenses against hunger and poverty. According to the statement - the cuts would affect a broad array of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet - including working families with children, senior citizens, veterans and adults who are still looking for work. The Administration adds that slashing SNAP also weakens the nation’s farm and rural economies. Congress should instead approach the reauthorization of the farm bill in a comprehensive manner. The Administration has called for the enactment of a multi-year farm bill that supports rural America while achieving significant deficit reduction. The President’s Budget - the statement continues - proposes specific balanced reforms that would accomplish this goal without creating hardship for vulnerable Americans. The Administration is urging Congress to follow that path and reject the harmful cuts included in H.R. 3102. If Congress does send the legislation to the President - his senior advisors would recommend he veto the bill.