As the House began debate on the farm bill today, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) joined as a cosponsor of Representative James McGovern's (D-MA) amendment to restore the $20.5 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, in the House Republican's proposed farm bill. The amendment is expected to draw many members to the House floor, many of whom, like Norton, joined the SNAP Challenge -- to eat on a food stamp budget of $31.50 for the week. The challenge, which is on its final day, calls attention to the harm to millions of the poorest Americans, almost half of them children, if a cut so large occurs. The amendment, in compliance with House rules, offsets the cost of restoring the SNAP funding with reductions to costly crop subsidies.
"The SNAP Challenge was a prelude to the McGovern amendment," said Norton. "Even if the amendment is not successful, it, along with the SNAP Challenge, will put us in a better position in conference to restore some funding. Food stamps, the most important defense against hunger for almost 45 million of our country's most needy, are undergoing a heartless attack by House Republicans."