Ms. LEE of California. Madam Speaker, as the founder and cochair of the Out of Poverty Caucus, this morning many of us stood with advocates and faith leaders to say in one voice: no cuts to food stamps in the farm bill.
Food stamps provided that critical bridge over troubled waters for me and my family when I was a young mother, and I thank our government and the American people for this safety net. The American people were there for me and my family when we needed it most. We need to be there for people who need it most now.
Every year, several Members take part in the Food Stamp Challenge. You eat for 1 week on average food stamp benefits, which is $1.50 per meal. Every Member should join us in the food stamp challenge this year, especially Members who want to cut food stamps. You need to know what it means to be hungry.
We simply cannot cut $16 billion in critical SNAP benefits. Food stamps not only feed hungry children, seniors, and veterans, but also promote real growth and create jobs. It makes no economic sense and no moral sense to cut $16 billion from the food stamp program.
We should reject these heartless cuts on the poor and get back to creating the jobs and opportunities for everyone. People would rather have a job instead of food stamps to feed their family, but until Republicans support efforts to create jobs, we have a moral responsibility and a duty to make sure that at least people eat.
It's hard to believe, in 2012, we are debating feeding people.