U.S. House votes to increase hunger in North Carolina

As we warned earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives has been considering significant and draconian changes to the nation’s leading anti-hunger program–effectively wiping out critical food assistance for our state’s seniors, veterans and even children—comes just as new poverty data shows even more North Carolinians are struggling.

In a slim 217 to 210 vote, a bitterly divided House voted in favor of a controversial, extreme and stunningly harsh measure that cuts a staggering $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—formerly known as food stamps.  The cuts are twice the amount originally proposed by the House earlier this year and ten times more than those adopted by a strong bipartisan majority in the U.S. Senate. If the legislation becomes law, it will take away food assistance for as many as four million poor Americans.  Independent budget analysts have confirmed the proposal is so extreme it would take away food assistance for children, seniors and veterans.

In North Carolina, 1.7 million families rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to put food on their tables.  At a cost of only $1.35 per meal in North Carolina, it is also one of the nation’s most efficient and effective services for the poor. New data by the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities show the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program lifted a record four million Americans out of poverty in 2012, and it reduced hardship for millions more.

At a time when special tax loopholes allow corporations and the wealthiest Americans to avoid paying upwards of $1 trillion in taxes every year, Congress shouldn’t be turning to North Carolina’s poorest people to find savings—especially children and others who are unable to work for their own food. This proposal is blatantly immoral, and must be stopped by the Senate. No one should be in the business of causing hunger, yet that’s the choice the House just made with this vote.

 

8 Comments

  1. Frances Jenkins

    September 19, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    This article is yellow journalism at its worst. If you are an able body person, you must work for your food stamps in a community service setting. Blueprint is alive and well at Progressive Pulse.

  2. Jim Wiseman

    September 20, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Oh dear! What kind of monsters hate children?

  3. Jim Wiseman

    September 20, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Hang in there, Frances. Sometimes the best you can do is ridicule these people.

  4. Allan Freyer

    September 20, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Frances–quick question for you. What happens when there are no jobs for able-bodied people to take? Unemployment is still almost 9% and there is only job opening for every 3 unemployed workers, according to the BLS (just to be clear, that means that even if we could miraculously fill every job opening tomorrow, there would still be 2 more unemployed people for every one person who just got a job) . So where exactly are these able-bodied unemployed folks supposed to go exactly? This is where conservative political philosophy always runs aground–mathematical reality.

    And since Jim brought up children, I just want to be clear–are you suggesting that the 45% of SNAP recipients who are kids should also work? It’s certainly an interesting philosophy–I’m not sure how moral or economically sound it is, but I guess you’re welcome to it.

  5. Jasmine

    September 20, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Allan, I don’t know how you stomach debating with these unreasonable people. Ad hominem reasoning is their favorite weapon and it’s because they don’t really care about getting to the truth. The republican party is often aligned with self-righteousness. The healing begins when the individuals who are responsible for this reputation actually start to face reality.

  6. wncgirl

    September 20, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Frances… blind hatred and blantant disdain for the poorest among us speaks volumes about your character… or lack of character- And I bet you think yourself a Christian- might want to read the good book again for comprehension not just the “dirty” passages most conservatives seem to focus on…

  7. Ken Glick (EEI)

    September 20, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Allan, I agree with you that the “formally known as foodstamp program” is one of the most effective poverty fighting tools of the federal government, But it’s also true that it has grown tremendously in recent years under Pres. Obama. Undoubtedly, hunger in America has also increased since Obama came into office due to the Great Recession but at some point you have to ask yourself why so many non-poverty (i.e. working-class) people are receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits when that money could be better spent by giving more assistance to those who really need it.

    For example, I have a brother on permanent disability due to his having Muscular Dystrophy and receives a total of $62 per month whereas one of his caretakers works 40+ hours per week and gets six times as much. Clearly, I’m not in favor of cutting the program but it definitely needs to be reworked so that those who need it more get more while those who don’t need it don’t get it at all.

  8. david esmay

    September 22, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Ken, the program grew under President Obama due to the Bush recession, short term memory loss is a terrible thing.