Statement on farm bill debate

celia_officialWe are alarmed by efforts in Congress to pass a farm bill that would take federal food aid away from two million struggling Americans who rely on it to feed themselves and their families. These cuts will increase hunger in Texas, primarily among households with children, elderly and the disabled. Already, one-in-five Texas households struggles to afford food, including one-in-four children.

SNAP is an effective, targeted benefit that helps the most deserving among us. Most recipients are unable to work due to age or infirmity. Among households with working-age adults, most are either currently employed or were employed within the last year. See our recent report highlighting the face of food stamps in Texas.

Americans are understandably concerned about the deficit. But cutting SNAP won’t fix that problem, and would undermine one of the most important tools we have to support our most vulnerable citizens and help low-income Americans get back on their feet during tough economic times.

We thank Texas Congressmen Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville) and Pete Gallego (D-Alpine) for supporting failed committee amendments that would have restored these cuts, and Congressman Vela for voting against committee passage of the bill. However, we are disappointed in the votes of our other House Agriculture Committee Members to move this deeply flawed bill forward.

SNAP makes our children healthier and our nation stronger. Keeping this program strong is both the smart and moral thing to do. Tightening our belts around our most vulnerable neighbors is not the American way, or the Texan way.

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