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
7/24/2014 From Passion to Progress Briefing Brings Together Feminist Leaders and Hundreds of Young Activists - Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) staff, two congresswomen, and over a hundred DC interns came together yesterday for FMF's Intern Student/Activist briefing in Dirksen Senate building to discuss how to put a women's rights agenda into action.
Over plates of donuts and cups coffee, participants listened to a succession of engaging and passionate speeches from congressional and feminist leaders: Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA), Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and FMF President Eleanor Smeal. . . .