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.