WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop (GA-02) opposed increasing hunger in America by voting against H.R. 3102, the “Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act,” which will cut basic food aid (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) by nearly $40 billion over ten years, denying nutrition assistance for nearly 4 million Americans next year. The measure was passed by a vote of 217 to 210.
“This legislation is wrong on many levels. It literally takes food out of the mouths of the hungry; ultimately harming children, seniors, veterans, Americans looking for work, and our nation’s most vulnerable,” said Congressman Bishop. “Plainly stated, this bill is all pain and no gain. Voting against these draconian cuts was the right thing to do.”
It is estimated that the “Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act” will cause between four and six million low-income individuals lose their SNAP benefits entirely. As many as 210,000 children could potentially lose their school meals and 850,000 households could see their benefits slashed by an average of $90 per month. In Georgia’s Second Congressional District, over 62,000 households (or 24.9%) received SNAP benefits in 2011. Many of them could be in jeopardy of reduced benefits or a loss of benefits altogether if these cuts are enacted.
For the past 50 years, the Farm Bill has included agriculture subsidies and nutrition assistance. There is an economic reason for including nutritional assistance in the Farm Bill. For example, every time SNAP benefits are claimed, grocers, banks, and farmers benefit from the food eaten and commerce stimulated. Moody’s Analytics estimates that for every $1 spent on SNAP, $1.70 is generated in economic activity. Directly translated, $40 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program would cut economic output by $68 billion.
“Not only does this bill disadvantage those among us who need the assistance the most, it does it in a ‘penny wise but pound foolish’ fashion, benefitting no one at the end of the day,” concluded Congressman Bishop.