We see the faces.
Yesterday, by a vote of 217 to 210, the House of Representatives voted to pass a bill, cutting $40 Billion from SNAP (formerly food stamp) benefits over the next 10 years.
We see the faces.
Using language of “fraud”, “abuse”, “work requirements” and “waste” the bill was treated in a cold, calculated and deliberate manner, as though passage were the only fiscally responsible approach.
But, we see the faces.
These cuts, proposed and passed by the House in this bill, come in addition to the cuts the House already approved earlier this year.
Today, and every Friday, we see the faces.
Faces of fear, discouragement and hurt, as people – you and old, men and women, mothers and fathers – processed the affect these decisions, made nearly 1,000 miles away, will have when they hit their homes.
One face stands out in my memory. A lady who struggled to share her story through an obvious, mild physical disability – perhaps Parkinson’s. Holding in her shaking hand a chart with the amount of her future, reduced benefits, she neared tears as she tried to think of how she would be able to provide for herself when the changes go into effect, as she already struggles to eat throughout the month with her current level of benefits.
Congress must be held accountable for the impact this decision will have in the lives of so many who count on SNAP benefits for the most basic elements of survival when they have nothing else and nowhere to turn for work. These cuts will not only affect those, however, but also the families with two underemployed, working parents and children, who are lifted just above the federal poverty line as a result of the meager benefits SNAP provides, this year’s cuts will be felt devastatingly in their home, as well.
With current and these proposed cuts, it seems we’re destined to see even more faces in the future.
We encourage you to call your Representative, ask if they voted for or against this bill and let them know your feelings as a result of how they voted.
Also, call Senators Sessions and Shelby to let them know you OPPOSE these cuts to SNAP and you strongly desire they work to ensure these horrific cuts do not also make it through the Senate on the next step toward becoming Law.
For more information about the cuts and fallacy in the language being used to support them, check out this article by Robert Greenstein: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=4018
Here too is Greenstein’s statement on the pervasive and damaging nature of the cuts: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=4021