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Providing for Further Consideration of H.R. 1947, Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. HORSFORD. Mr. Speaker, first let me commend the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. McGovern) and his leadership for 18 years on fighting for the needs of SNAP assistance for our most vulnerable citizens.

I rise and stand with Mr. McGovern against this procedural rule and in support of the underlying amendment that Mr. McGovern, myself, and other Members have. This amendment will prevent cuts to the SNAP funding program.

The Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 includes $20.5 billion in cuts to the SNAP program. That will come on top of an expiration of a benefits boost from the Recovery Act of 2009.

SNAP provides food assistance to approximately 46 million Americans in need, and it is estimated that at least 353,000 Nevadans will feel the impact of the upcoming double whammy of SNAP cuts from the FARRM Bill and the expiration of the Recovery Act boost.

The bottom line is that the SNAP program is our Nation's most important antihunger program. It kept 4.7 million people out of poverty in 2011, including 2.1 million children.

I had a community conference call with my constituents and families in my district who count on SNAP. Many of them live in food deserts. The benefits they receive right now aren't enough for a healthy meal.

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Mr. HORSFORD. Yet we are talking about cutting these benefits even further while we continue subsidies to big industries that are well-off. Those priorities are backwards.

For the mother in my district who is expecting another child and who counts on SNAP, for the disabled family that stands in line for hours at the food bank, and for the elderly who rely on SNAP to get the food that they need, for everyone who made their voice heard by calling my office, I refuse to accept that we should cut $20.5 billion in vital food assistance programs, and I will continue to work with Mr. McGovern and my colleagues until we can restore these funds.

Today's rule will allow for a number of amendments to be considered. I urge all of my colleagues to support an amendment offered by Mr. McGovern, myself, and other members. Our amendment will prevent cuts to SNAP funding.

The Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 includes $20.5 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP). That will come on top of an expiration of a benefits boost from the Recovery Act in 2009.

Without the Recovery Act's boost, SNAP benefits will average about $1.40 per person per meal. If the Farm Bill passes the House as it is currently written, the average benefit may drop even lower.

SNAP provides food assistance to approximately 46 million Americans in need and it is estimated that at least 353,000 Nevadans will feel the impact of the upcoming double whammy of SNAP cuts from the Farm Bill and expiration of the Recovery Act boost.

The bottom line is that SNAP is our nation's most important anti-hunger program. It kept 4.7 million people out of poverty in 2011, including 2.1 million children. And SNAP has cut the number of children living in extreme poverty in half.

I had a community conference call with families in my district who count on SNAP. They live in food deserts. The benefits they receive right now are not enough for a healthy meal. And yet, we are talking about cutting these benefits even further while we continue subsidies to industries that are well-off. Those priorities are backwards.

So for the mother in my district who is expecting another child who counts on this program, for the family that stands in line for hours at the food bank, and for elderly who rely on SNAP to get the food they need, for everyone who made their voice heard by calling my office, I refuse to accept that we should cut $20.5 billion in vital food assistance.

Extra points: According to the USDA's Economic Research Service: Each $1 billion of retail generated by SNAP creates $340 million in farm production, and 3,300 farm jobs; every $1 billion of SNAP benefits also creates 8,900-17,900 full-time jobs; an additional $5 of SNAP benefits generates $9 in total economic activity.

These programs are not handouts. They are a hand up. And they help stimulate the economy.

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