Monday, October 14, 2013

SNAP Cuts (Part 2): A Perspective from Two Members of Congress Who Opposed Drastic Cuts

(Editors Note: This is the second in a series about the ongoing discussions around funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Program. In Part 1, we posted links to Panera CEO Ron Saich's experiences taking the SNAP Challenge)

In a closer-than-expected 217-210 vote in September, the Republican-dominated House stripped $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrtion Program (SNAP) over a 10-year period. Democratic representatives were united in opposing the drastic reductions to food stamps, but 15 Republicans joined them in casting a Nay Vote.

Here are a couple of perspectives from House members who voted against the cuts, one from Democrat Brad Schneider from Illinois and the other from Republican Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska.

Brad Schneider (from his Deerflied Patch blog): "During the debate over SNAP cuts, there have been a number of distortions and misleading arguments used. To set the record straight: nearly half of SNAP recipients are children; in Illinois, recipients receive a miniscule $1.55 per meal, $4.65 per day; and more than 90 percent of SNAP recipients are households living below the poverty line."  Schneider represents a district in Illinois that includes rural and suburban communities and small towns.

Jeff Fortenberry: "We do need a broader discussion of social welfare policy reform to move people in vulnerable circumstances into work opportunities more quickly," he said in a piece quoted by the (Lincoln) Journal-Star. "But I do not think this should be done in isolation, targeting the food and hunger programs of this country."

Next: The Faith Perspective

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