House Proposed Budget: Raising André Amid Budget Cuts
When Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, revealed his budget proposal for fiscal year 2013, I was immediately reminded of Alli Morris, a young working mother in Bend, OR, who relies on federal nutrition programs to feed her son, André, who was born with a rare medical disorder. See their story.
The budget severely and disproportionately cuts programs for hungry and poor people. Much of the $4.1 trillion in proposed cuts comes from these vital programs, while much of the savings goes to $4.3 trillion in new tax cuts. To Alli, it will mean reduced resources for André, further hampering his growth.
The budget slashes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) by billions, and turns it into a block grant, which would prevent SNAP from responding to economic downturns.
But the cuts don’t end with SNAP. The proposed budget cuts the funding levels negotiated by Congress last August, and it eliminates the protections established for all major low-income entitlement programs. It also slashes other crucial programs, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, WIC, and Head Start. International food aid and poverty-focused foreign assistance would also be deeply cut. Cuts to this vital funding would endanger lives and our own national security.
Instead of supporting programs that help poor people get a leg up, the House is opting to balance our federal deficit on the backs of the most vulnerable. This proposal fails to create a circle of protection around programs vital for hungry and poor people in our country and abroad.
The House will vote on the proposed budget soon. Congress needs to hear from you today. Tell your U.S. representative: Say NO to the budget proposal and instead form a circle of protection around programs for hungry and poor people in the United States and abroad.
Use our toll-free number to call your U.S. representative today: 1-800-326-4941. This number will connect you to the Capitol switchboard; simply ask to be connected to the office of your U.S. representative. If you can’t call today, please call no later than Thursday, March 29.
David Beckmann is president of Bread for the World. Follow him on Twitter @davidbeckmann.
Photo caption: Alex Morris, from Bend, OR, depends on SNAP, WIC and other programs to care for André, who suffers from a serious medical condition that affects his hormonal system. Photo by Brad Horn.
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