NAP/Food Stamps Funding at Great Risk: Disturbing news coming out of the Senate includes proposals to cut billions from future SNAP/Food Stamp benefits to offset part of the cost for other legislative priorities. FRAC, along with other national groups, strongly opposes using SNAP funding to pay for other programs--regardless of the merits of those proposals. SNAP/Food Stamp cuts--reductions in benefits for the neediest people in the country--should never be used as a way to pay for legislation. Congressional leaders and the White House need to hear a strong message from groups across the country that Congress should not be making it even harder for struggling families to purchase healthy food.
Timing: The next few days are critical. Proposals could be considered on the Senate floor before August 6th or 7th, at which time Senators are expected to leave for the August recess. House Members already are on recess. Both the House and Senate are slated to return September 13th. Making sure no adoption of SNAP offsets occurs in the Senate this week is a vital first step to stopping the cuts overall.
Immediate Action Step One-Circulate and Sign Group Letter: Immediately sign your group on to a letter opposing SNAP/Food Stamps cuts and circulate it to allied groups and urge them to sign on. The interim deadline is August 5th. For details, go to http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5118/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=3830. (If any technical difficulties signing on, e-mail your sign-on information to email@example.com).
Immediate Action Step Two-Tell Senators and the White House to Stop Proposing SNAP Cuts: Contact Senators and the White House and tell them cutting future SNAP/Food Stamps benefits is unacceptable. For the Capitol Switchboard, call 202-225-3121; for the White House, call 202-456-1414. For toll-free calls, call 1-866-277-7617 and get connected first to the Capitol Switchboard and then routed to the White House. (Thanks to Voices for America's Children for use of its toll-free number).
Background-Legislative Vehicles: The proposal to pay for spending for other programs by rolling back the boost that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act(ARRA) made to SNAP benefit levels is cropping up in a variety of contexts. The most recent two proposals are: reducing monthly SNAP benefits beginning August 2016 to generate $2.4 billion to pay for part of the Child Nutrition Reauthorzation Bill (S. 3307), and reducing SNAP benefits in April 2014 to generate $11.9 billion to pay for items added to the Federal Aviation Administration Bill (H.R. 1586) (such as aid to states and funding for teachers' salaries). These bills should be fixed-they should not be paid for with low-income peoples' food benefits.
Questions and Answers: A new brief from FRAC (pdf) provides greater background on the proposed SNAP benefit cuts. It explains the context and impact on needy low-income households. It addresses head-on the misstatements commonly made in connection with the benefit cut proposals. Feel free to use this brief as well as the group sign-on letter in your communications with Members of Congress, the White House and local media.
Longer Term Outlook: FRAC will be providing you with additional information in coming days on ways to build opposition to the SNAP benefit cuts during the August recess.
Feedback and Technical Assistance: Please share reports on your contacts and suggestions for additional actions to prevent the SNAP benefit cuts. For feedback and technical assistance, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
**This post was submitted by the Hunger Action Network NYC