Every five years for the past three decades, members of Congress have been able to reach across the aisle and work together to tackle the pressing problem of hunger in our nation through the passage of the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, or the farm bill—specifically the nutrition assistance portion of the bill. As a result of this joint bipartisan effort, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP—originally the food stamp program—has enjoyed tremendous success over the years. It lifted 4.7 million people out of poverty in 2011 alone, and has an estimated return of $1.70 for the economy for every dollar invested. As part of the farm bill, SNAP has been reauthorized relatively seamlessly seven times.
Oh, how times have changed. Paying little heed to the past 30 years of a bipartisan agreement and success in fighting hunger, House Republicans have now placed SNAP on the chopping block as they pursue their reckless, cuts-cuts-cuts approach to governing. Their latest proposal is to cut the program by $40 billion—double what they approved only months earlier. The new proposal will cut an estimated 4 million to 6 million people from nutrition assistance.
For more on this topic, please see:
- 30 Years of Tackling Hunger on a Bipartisan Basis Is in Danger of Failing This Fall by Erik Stegman and Nicole Williams