Congressman Lowenthal Expresses Dissappointment Over House Vote to Increase Hunger in America

September 20, 2013
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Alan Lowenthal today released the following statement about the "Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act," legislation which cuts basic food aid (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/SNAP) by nearly $40 billion, denying basic food for nearly 4 million Americans next year:

"The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides low income and unemployed Americans the temporary nutritional assistance they need. More than 90% of people on SNAP are children, elderly, disabled, or already working and yet struggle to put food on the table as SNAP benefits amount to a national average of $1.40 per meal.

"Poor and unemployed Americans do not want to remain unemployed in order to receive a meager $1.40 per meal. That argument is specious: it paints a false picture of masses of people who would rather have less than 6 quarters per meal than a paying job. This is not a rational choice; no one chooses the 6 quarters. These are people who need America's support and investment in order to survive.

"SNAP is an investment in America's workers, both current and prospective. Gutting that investment and letting Americans go hungry denies them an opportunity to become contributing members of our society. This is not how America takes care of those of us most in need. "

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), SNAP benefits would be denied to approximately 3.8 million low-income people in 2014 and nearly 3 million people each year over the coming decade – and another 850,000 households will see an average reduction of about $90 per month in benefits – if efforts to make devastating cuts to SNAP are successful.

The Congressman delivered a Floor speech on Thursday night on SNAP. It can be viewed here or below.

The measure passed by a vote of 217-210. It now heads to the Senate for further analysis and debate.

Congressman Alan Lowenthal represents the 47th District of California which includes the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Signal Hill, Avalon, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Cypress, Westminster, Garden Grove, Buena Park, and Stanton. He is on the web at lowenthal.house.gov, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RepLowenthal and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RepLowenthal.