Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) released the following statement after voting against legislation in the House of Representatives that would cut $20.5 billion in cuts to the SNAP program:
"I applaud my colleagues who joined me in the House of Representatives to reject a bill that included $20.5 billion in cuts to the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). These cuts were a part of the proposed Republican farm bill, or the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (H.R. 1947). SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is the preeminent anti-hunger program in the United States.
"In 2012, nearly 47 million Americans relied on SNAP to put food on their tables. The $20.5 billion in cuts included in H.R. 1947 would have kicked two million Americans off the program, and over 200,000 children would have lost access to free school meals. At a time when more Americans than ever are living in poverty and millions more are subsisting on the margins, now is absolutely the wrong time to add Americans to the ranks of the food insecure.
"Adding insult to injury, House Republicans also included the Southerland amendment in the bill, which would have allowed states to cut their SNAP caseloads by instituting work requirements and denying benefits to recipients who do not work at least 20 hours per week. These SNAP recipients include the disabled, parents who lack access to child care and those who are unable to find work because no jobs are available in their community.
"I was proud to join over 80 House Democrats in cosponsoring the McGovern Amendment to the farm bill, which would have restored the $20.5 billion in SNAP funding. This amendment would have achieved the same amount of savings, not by making Americans go hungry, but by eliminating or reducing subsidies to highly-profitable agribusiness corporations.
"With the failure of H.R. 1947, I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to abandon their assault on the critical SNAP program. I stand ready to vote in support of reasonable, bipartisan legislation that maintains responsible SNAP funding."