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

Floor Speech

By:  Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Date: June 19, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the more than 47 million Americans who rely on nutrition assistance and in strong opposition to the deep, unnecessary, and cruel cuts to these antihunger programs in the FARRM Bill.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is one of our Nation's most effective tools for lifting children, seniors, and families out of poverty and helping vulnerable Americans put food on their table each day. SNAP is a lifeline for low-income and working Americans and their families.

Mr. Speaker, I speak in defense of the most basic elements of America's safety net, that regardless of circumstance, no American should go hungry. These deep and drastic cuts mean that 2 million Americans risk falling through the safety net. Some 210,000 children may go hungry throughout the school day; an additional 850,000 households will have less food on their tables. In my home State, nearly 1 million south Floridians don't know where their next meal will come from, and an astonishing 300,000 of them are children.

It is inexcusable for this Congress to try to balance the budget on the backs of hungry children and their families. We know that savings derived from these cuts are short-lived.

When Americans are food insecure, they are more likely to be anemic and have vitamin A and protein deficiencies, all of which lead to larger and more costly health issues, which we all pay for.

When needy children go off to school on empty stomachs, we dim their horizons and cripple their potential.

We are hurting our Nation's future through these severe burdens on needy families. This is not the way to find a balanced budget approach. Unfortunately, these cuts define the mindset of too many of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle.

It is shameful for us to tell the American people that when they fall on tough times, they're on their own. With these cuts, we are limiting their potential, risking their health, and leaving our fellow Americans writhing with hunger. It is immoral. The authors of this bill should be ashamed.

I urge my colleagues to oppose the $20 billion in cuts to nutrition programs in this bill. Support the McGovern amendment that would restore this critical funding, and oppose the rule and the FARRM Bill.

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