Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) released the following statement at a press conference on proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP):
[As prepared for delivery]
"Good morning, and thank you for this opportunity to speak about a program that made a powerful difference in my life.
"These proposed cuts to the SNAP program are a slap in the face to millions of families struggling to make ends meet. SNAP is an efficient, popular program that helps people who need it the most. It stimulates the economy. It increases worker productivity. It is essential to our children's development and school performance.
"This is personal for me. I know what it's like to be working full-time and still not earn enough to put food on the table. When my husband got sick and then walked out on us, I had to go back to work to support my children, who were 1, 3 and 5 years old at the time. But my paycheck wasn't enough to provide for the four of us.
"So I enrolled in the food stamps program. Not because I wanted to, but because I had to. I don't know what we would have done, or how we would have survived, without that help.
"Eventually we got through that rough patch, and my children grew up to be healthy, successful adults who pay taxes and contribute to the economy and their community. Believe me when I tell you that the federal government's investment in them 45 years ago has more than paid off.
"That's what we've always done in America. When people fall on hard times through no fault of their own, we extend a helping hand. But this version of the farm bill violates the social contract that has served us so well.
"The House Republican majority has priorities I just can't fathom. They want to repeal landmark legislation that is finally giving Americans the affordable health care they need. They want to make drastic, painful cuts to food stamps. But they want to continue to lavish the wealthiest 2% of Americans with tax breaks and subsidies.
"That's not the America I want to live in. Those aren't the values I was taught. Because of my personal experience, I will continue to fight for the snap program and the families that depend on it."