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Calling All Activists: Farm Bill Update
Nancy Carrasco (left) and Erika Carranza (right), both of California, listen to a speaker during a breakout session at Bread for the World's Lobby Day in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, June 12, 2012. Photo by Rick Reinhard for Bread for the World.
What’s going on?
On June 21, the Senate passed its version of the farm bill, which included $4.5 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the food stamp program). The Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012 (S.3240) could impact 500,000 families by reducing their monthly SNAP benefits by $90. It passed with 64 yes votes and 35 no votes.
Food assistance in the U.S. and around the world is at risk of deeper cuts in the House.
Next week on Wednesday, July 11, the House Agriculture Committee will consider their version of the farm bill. The draft bill contains approximately $16 billion in cuts to SNAP, and more than $35 billion in overall cuts to farm bill spending. We are urging members of Congress on the committee to vote against the bill because of the deep cuts to SNAP. We are also asking them to speak up during the markup in support of these critical programs. All members of the Ag Committee need to hear from constituents that these programs are vital to people who are hungry and poor.
Just as we urged Senators to oppose and support certain amendments in the Senate process, we also want to see strong opposition to negative amendments that further cut SNAP and food aid, and strong support for positive amendments, whether they pass or not. The Senate has already voted against even deeper cuts to SNAP. We must urge the House to do the same.
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