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Public Statements

Letter to Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nacy Pelosi - Serrano Leads Letter Excoriating SNAP Cuts

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

June 18, 2013 -- Congressman José E. Serrano led his 12 of his Latino colleagues in a letter sent this week to Speaker John Boehner and Leader Nancy Pelosi expressing their deep opposition to the devastating Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cuts contained in the Republican farm bill. The draft bill contains more than $20 billion in cuts to the program, which has seen record usage during the economic downturn. The text of the letter and a list of signers are below.

"These food assistance cuts are beyond the pale," said Congressman Serrano. "At a time when families are depending on this program to stave off hunger, eviscerating this program is deeply disturbing. Children and families in this nation of plenty should not go hungry. But if this bill passes as it is currently written, that is just what will take place, with much of the damage concentrated in minority communities. I was proud to lead my colleagues in saying that that is wrong."

Dear Speaker Boehner and Democratic Leader Pelosi,

As Hispanic members of Congress and on behalf of the millions of Americans that we represent, we write to oppose devastating cuts, which total $20 billion, to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) contained in H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013. These benefit reductions will harm the more than 46 million low-income Americans - nearly half of whom are children - who depend on SNAP for nutrition.

SNAP is a vital resource in the Latino community, where joblessness, homelessness, and food insecurity rates remain high. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, more than 25% of Latino households are food insecure. SNAP is a critical lifeline for struggling families as they juggle their other household expenses - including heat, shelter, child care, transportation, medicine, and health care. Yet H.R. 1947, which passed out of the House Agriculture Committee on May 16th, makes cuts that would reduce the SNAP benefits for 850,000 households by an average of $90 per month, would cause two million people to lose benefits entirely, and would take away free school meals from 210,000 children. We strongly oppose balancing the budget on the backs of the poorest and most vulnerable Americans.

We cannot support a Farm Bill that sacrifices the well-being of hungry Americans. SNAP is a critical program that should be maintained at a time when Latinos across the country remain in considerable need.

Sincerely,

Rep. José E. Serrano

Rep. Raúl Grijalva

Rep. Tony Cárdenas

Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham

Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard

Rep. Albio Sires

Rep. Grace Napolitano

Rep. Pedro Pierluisi

Rep. Loretta Sanchez

Rep. Juan Vargas

Rep. Filemon Vela


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