Ms. MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM of New Mexico. Mr. Speaker, I rise today appalled by proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the 2013 Farm Bill. This program provides crucial support to families in New Mexico and across the country that continue to struggle to make ends meet.
SNAP benefits help many households lift themselves out of poverty, and prevent families from falling even deeper into poverty. With SNAP benefits already averaging less than $1.50 per person per meal, any reduction in a family's monthly benefits or eligibility would be devastating. We cannot keep expecting poor working families and senior citizens to shoulder the burden of misguided deficit reduction.
In my state, over 78 percent of SNAP participants are in families with children. Instead of taking food out of the mouths of the one in five New Mexicans who depend on these benefits for their basic nutrition and economic security, Congress should focus on creating jobs that will grow the economy. New Mexico's farmers and ranchers deserve a Farm Bill, but it's wrong to harm our children, seniors and veterans in the process.
I urge the House of Representatives to oppose any short-sighted cuts to this vitally important program.