Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) released the following statement today, after speaking this morning at a press conference protesting the $16 billion in cuts to the SNAP program included in Chairman Lucas's Farm Bill mark legislation.
"The Farm Bill the House Agriculture Committee will mark up tomorrow is a direct assault on vulnerable American families that will impact our children, our seniors, and our veterans. $16 billion in cuts from SNAP, a program that 46 million Americans rely on to put food on the table, is unacceptable!"
"In the 2008 Farm Bill, we worked in a bipartisan manner to provide record levels of funding for federal nutrition programs. But this bill would turn back the clock on the progress we've made. 2 to 3 million people would lose SNAP eligibility under the cuts included in this bill, and 280,000 children would lose access to free school meals. Can you imagine, trying to go to school hungry, and how this impacts the attitudes and behaviors of our children?"
"6 million Californians rely on SNAP benefits, including 2 million children. 28% of the households in my Congressional district suffer from food insecurity. These Americans need a strong and effective SNAP program to ensure they do not go hungry."
"I understand the value of SNAP because I once relied on food stamps to help feed my family. It was a bridge over troubled water that helped us get by in a difficult time."
"We must also remember that SNAP is good for our economy. In California, SNAP was responsible for $11.6 billion in new economic activity in 2011 alone. Our nation continues to spend billions of dollars a year to defend and assist foreign nations. Let's stop spending money overseas, and start spending it here at home to take care of our own."
"My colleagues and I will fight to fix this Farm Bill, and protect the SNAP program from these devastating cuts. In a country as rich as ours, no one should go hungry."