Today, Representative Steven Horsford (NV-4) joined his colleagues in bringing an amendment forward, authored with James McGovern (MA-2), to restore $20.5 billion in food assistance cuts contained in the current Farm Bill.
If the cuts are approved, 353,000 Nevadans will feel the impact of reductions in funding for food assistance programs. A vote on the Farm Bill is expected in the coming days.
During a community conference call on Monday, Horsford announced that he would be offering the amendment with Rep. McGovern to avoid cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). During the call, he heard from families forced to drive long distances to purchase healthy food, local leaders who run Nevada food banks, and elderly Nevadans who count on SNAP for food security.
Below is a transcript of Horsford's remarks:
"Thank you, Mr. Speaker. First let me commend the gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. McGovern and your leadership for 18 years on fighting for the needs of SNAP program assistance for our most vulnerable citizens. I rise and stand with Mr. McGovern against this procedural rule and in support of the underlying amendments that Mr. McGovern, myself and other members have. This amendment will prevent cuts to the SNAP funding program.
"You know, 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 Farm Bill and expiration of the Recovery Act boost.
"The bottom line is that the SNAP program 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.
"Now, 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 are not enough for a healthy meal. And 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.
"So 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."