Thank You, Faithful Advocates! House Farm Bill that Cuts SNAP Fails to Pass
Bread for the World advocates during a workshop at the 2013 National Gathering, held June 8-11 in Washington, D.C.
Advocacy requires patience and, like the exodus from Egypt, the exodus from hunger takes struggle, perseverance, prayer, and faith. Our biblical tradition has aptly prepared Christian anti-hunger advocates for this work. Today, faithful advocacy paid off!
With two days of heated debate on the House floor, it was not clear that the chamber’s farm bill—which included $20.5 billion in cuts to SNAP (formerly food stamps) and $2.5 billion in cuts to food aid—would fail. Two amendments that would have restored the funding failed yesterday and several harmful proposals that would have increased hunger passed. But there was always hope.
Like David picking up the rock as he faced impossible odds against Goliath, anti-hunger advocates picked up phones, sent emails, and used social media to send the same powerful message to Congress: everyone deserves a place at the table.
Bread for the World strongly urged a “no” vote on any farm bill that included cuts to programs that help hungry and poor people. The House farm bill failed passage today, with a final vote of 195 yays and 234 nays. (To see how your representative voted, click here).
This is a great victory, but there is still much work to be done. As congressional leaders decide how to move forward, we will make sure that our members are equipped with the information they need in order to remain vigilant. Some options for moving forward include sending the House farm bill back to the agriculture committee for changes, another short- or long-term extension of the farm bill (the bill we are functioning under expires Sept. 30), or leadership may choose to vote on the Senate bill.
Beyond the farm bill, work on immigration, the budget, and replacing sequestration will take center stage. The fearless and faithful advocacy it takes to say “no” in the face of those who may seem bigger and stronger will be needed again and again.
Like David who faced the Philistine not with a sword, but with faith and courage, faithful advocates will again be challenged, but we can continue to overcome great obstacles. Thank you to everyone who used his or her voice and made a difference today.
Your support and involvement made it possible for Bread for the World to fight cuts to SNAP and food aid. You can help keep that momentum going by joining our summer effort to help hungry people and making a gift to Bread.
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