Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Congressman Conyers Argues to Extend, Not Cut, Nutrition Assistance Benefits

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) went to the House Floor to discuss his legislation H.R. 3108, the “Extend Not Cut SNAP Benefits Act.” This legislation comes on the heels of House Republicans voting to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program by $40 billion. He said:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
“On November 1st, households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will see their monthly benefit sharply reduced.  The temporary benefit boost provided for in the 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) is scheduled to expire next month, leaving many American’s unsure of how they will put food on the table.  The November 1st cut will aggravate the problem of hunger in our nation, and make it that much harder for millions of Americans—fathers and mothers, children, veterans and active duty military to provide for their loved ones.

“The benefit increase passed in the depths of the Great Recession has provided Americans—both directly and indirectly—with substantial benefits.  Low-income families who face unemployment and underemployment are provided a critical way to bridge the financial barriers they face.  Americans who are employed in adequate paying jobs are able to remain so because of the boost to the economy; $9 are added to the GDP for every $5 in SNAP benefits that the program provides.

“These cuts will come at a moment when Americans are ill-prepared to afford them.  The loss of SNAP will not just mean empty tables for Thanksgiving for millions; it will mean a weaker economy, even as the effects of our prolonged shutdown and debt ceiling brinksmanship continues to erode economic progress.  This cut in benefits simply pushes the American economy into a vicious cycle which we cannot afford at this time.

“I am urging my colleagues to avoid exacerbating the effects of this government shutdown and the potential default of government debts—by calling on them to support H.R. 3108, the ‘Extend Not Cut SNAP Benefits Act.’  H.R. 3108 provides for a one year extension of the 13% benefits increase contained in ARRA through the 2014 Fiscal Year.

“In 2011, SNAP lifted 4.7 million Americans above the poverty line, including 2.1 million children.  Without an extension of the 2009 Recovery Act’s temporary boost to SNAP, our economy will be worse off and our children will face hunger they certainly do not deserve.”

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