During last summer’s hard-won debt deal, President Obama and Congressional leaders agreed to a set of spending cuts designed to reduce the Federal budget deficit, including a $54.7 billion reduction in defense spending for FY2013.
Nine months later, however, leaders in the U.S. House are set to renege on this agreement by reversing the scheduled defense cuts and making up the resulting short-fall by making an additional $34 billion cut over the next ten years to the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—otherwise known as food stamps—a program that was explicitly exempted from the spending cuts outlined in the original debt deal due to their disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable.
These cuts will prove devastating to low- and moderate-income families that rely on this assistance to adequately feed their families. As Politico reports:
“An average family of four would face an 11 percent cut in monthly benefits after Sept. 1 and, even more important, tighter enforcement of rules would require that households exhaust most of their liquid assets before qualifying for help. This hits hardest among the long-term unemployed, who would be forced off the rolls until they have spent down their savings to less than $2,000 in many cases.”