The US Senate voted yesterday against preserving around $4.5 million in food stamp, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), funding. The amendment to preserve the funding, part of a large farm bill, needed 60 votes to pass but was voted down in a 33 to 66 vote. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) offered the amendment to prevent cuts in food aid by reducing the guaranteed profit for crop insurance companies and lowering the payments they receive. The cuts to SNAP aid will target the "Heat and Eat" initiative, in which families who are receiving even $1 of utility assistance are eligible for SNAP benefits.
Senator Gillibrand urged the Senate to pass the amendment, saying "half of the food stamp beneficiaries are children, 17 percent are seniors, and unfortunately now 1.5 million households are veterans that are receiving food stamps." She continued, "We all here in this chamber take the ability to feed our children for granted. That is not the case for too many families in America."
According to the Los Angeles Times, 1 in 7 Americans now receive SNAP benefits. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the cuts will result in families seeing a cut of $90 a month, or approximately a quarter of a family's food budget.
Media Resources: LA Times 6/20/12; Huffington Post 6/19/12; Politico 6/19/12
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .