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July 9th, 2012
Grijalva Calls GOP Farm Bill Cuts to Nutrition Assistance an Ideological Excuse to Take From Low-Income Families, Give to Wealthy

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today released the following statement on the upcoming House vote on the Farm Bill, which includes funding for food assistance to low income families:

“This week the House Agriculture Committee votes on the wide-rangingFarm Billthat will set a great deal of food, nutrition and economic policy for the next five years.The House version makes disproportionate cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is the only source of affordable food for approximately 45 million Americans.

“Today in the United States,one in seven Americans receive what we used to call food stamps.The figure is higher in Arizona, where one in three children – more than 466,000 – are considered ‘food insecure.’ The economic downturn caused by reckless bank bets has left many hard-working Americans dependent on food assistance programs like SNAP to make ends meet.

“House Republicans propose to cut $35 billionfrom SNAP in this bill. Under new requirements they want, Arizona families would have to choose between owning their car or receiving food assistance to feed their family. Why? Because they want to count the car as a big enough asset to eliminate your need for food assistance. Anyone who’s ever struggled with hunger can tell you a car isn’t food.

“If this bill becomes law, several million Americans will no longer be eligible for SNAP food assistance. More than 280,000 American children in low-income families will lose their free school meals.For most of these families, an additional $14 each week is the difference between eating and hunger.Yet House Republicans believe the total cost of SNAP – half of one percent of U.S.gross domestic product – is worth taking away in favor of more tax cuts for the richest two percent of the country.

“House Republicans call food assistance wasteful spending, and they’re willing to pull food out of peoples’ mouthsto make an ideological point.I do not support them or this bill.As a nation, a state and a community, we need to continue to fight hunger. Funding SNAPis an excellent way to do that. Republicans who believe otherwise should explain why they’ve made tax giveaways to corporations and the richest two percent a higher priority.”

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