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Organizations in LA protest against possible food stamp cuts

English.news.cn   2013-06-18 10:53:44            

LOS ANGELES, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Organizations in Los Angeles Monday rallied at U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman's regional office to protest against possible food stamp cuts, expecting the U.S. Congress to veto the proposed cuts which will impact about 2 million Americans.

The spokeswoman from Poverty Matters organization, Susie Shannon, told Xinhua that the U.S. House of Representatives would discuss the possible cuts of 20.5 billion dollars of food stamps this week in the House Farm Bill, and protesters expected Congressman Waxman and other members of the House of Representatives to veto the bill.

Meanwhile, together with the Progressive Democrats of America and the Hunger Action L.A., the Poverty Matters and other organizations called on local voters to voice their opposition to the House Farm Bill.

Statistics show that about 47 million Americans receive food stamps in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which has expanded significantly under President Barack Obama, who boosted benefits and allowed states to waive some work rules under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Although the U.S economy has seen signs of recovery and the unemployment rate has come down, millions of working Americans earn so little that they still qualify for food stamps.

President Obama is facing tremendous pressure to reduce the country's huge deficit by cutting budget, and Republican members in the U.S. Congress have taken aim at SNAP while Democrats want to save the program.

Republicans from the U.S. House of Representatives now want to cut 20.5 billion dollars over 10 years from SNAP, five times more than the 4 billion dollars authorized by a big bipartisan vote, 66 to 27, in the U.S. Senate last week.

Basically, qualified low income Americans can get 4.50 dollars of food stamps every day from the government.

Opponents of the Farm Bill held that food stamps kept a lot of Americans from going hungry.

According to a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, not only do SNAP benefits keep a lot of people from going hungry, they also help families purchase more nutritious foods, while they are actually projected to decrease as the economy begins to rebound.

Close to half of the recipients of SNAP benefits are children. From a policy perspective, there are many reasons to avoid making cuts to the program, according to the report.

Sixty percent of working-age people in the program are women, most with children. If the cuts go through, 210,000 children would lose their free school lunch benefits, statistics show

American media like The Nation, called cuts to the food stamps "cruel" to the low income Americans and damaging to the U.S. economy.

The Center for American Progress said in a study that for every 1 billion-dollar cut from SNAP, 13,718 jobs are lost in the country.

However, supporters of the Farm Bill held that food stamps would further back the "culture of dependency" and encourage the practice of "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps."

U.S. House Republican Stephen Fincher from Tennessee recently said that food stamps essentially "steal from those in the country and give to others in the country."

Statistics revealed alarming facts that more white people in the U.S. receive food stamps than black people, and able-bodied people without dependents are limited in the amount of time they can access the program.

Editor: Zhu Ningzhu
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