Public Health Institute Opposes House Cuts to Nutrition Benefits in Farm Bill
STATEMENT FROM MATTHEW MARSOM, VICE PRESIDENT, PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY & ADVOCACY
“The Public Health Institute (PHI) strongly opposes the $16.5 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that the House Agriculture Committee approved today as part of its 2012 Farm Bill (HR 6038).
“If these cuts are enacted, up to 3 million individuals would no longer receive the SNAP benefits they need to obtain healthy foods and avoid hunger. The cuts would also reduce benefits by an average of $90 per month for an additional 500,000 low-income individuals.
“These cuts go much deeper with a much more severe impact than the version of the farm bill approved by the Senate in June that commits SNAP to $4.5 billion in cuts.
“There is no question that the House bill would increase economic hardship among working families and seriously compromise the nutritional well-being of millions of vulnerable Americans.
“While PHI cannot support this bill because of the unacceptable cuts to nutrition programs, we do commend Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) for working on a bipartisan basis to advance the farm bill out of committee.
“The 2012 Farm Bill is among the most important pieces of legislation impacting the public’s health that Congress will consider this year. It is essential that the bill be finalized on schedule. PHI rejects calls for delay and urges House leadership to schedule time for floor consideration as quickly as possible.”