WASHINGTON – Chautauqua County’s Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning), along with 216 other Republicans in the House of Representatives, voted in favor of a bill Thursday that would significantly reduce funding for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as the federal food stamp program. The funding cuts come by way of the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act.
According to supporters, including Reed, the bill would provide meaningful improvements to the food stamp program, which hasn’t been reformed since 1996. In all, the republican-backed measure would cut food stamp funding by $40 Billion over a 10-year period.
In a statement, Reed said the House food stamp bill refocuses the program on those who need it most, and gives individuals the tools they need to help themselves and their families become self-sufficient.
Under the bill, all adult recipients who meet income and asset tests and are willing to comply with work requirements will continue to receive benefits. In order to comply with the work requirement, beneficiaries will participate job activities like job training or community service and volunteering opportunities.
New York’s Junior Senator in Washington Kirsten Gillibrand is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and has led the fight to preserve full food stamp funding. In response to the house vote and passage of the new food stamp bill, Gillibrand said the plan directly punishes the hungry, including children, seniors, troops and veterans. Gillibrand said she will urge her Senate colleagues to stand together and fight the cuts in conference.
The Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act is the corresponding nutrition title to the five-year Farm Bill passed through the House in July.