Food Should Be Out of the Conversation

Floor Speech

Date: July 12, 2012
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BUTTERFIELD. One of the most significant congressional accomplishments in 1965 was to create a program whereby American citizens could have the opportunity for nutritious foods. The SNAP program allows 46 million Americans to avoid being hungry. The benefits go to deserving individuals. Fifteen percent are elderly; 20 percent are disabled. The average gross monthly income for a food stamp household is $731. The average net income is $336.

Now we see an effort to roll back these benefits to these vulnerable populations. The Ryan House budget calls for $35 billion in cuts. The Lucas-Peterson plan marked up last night calls for $16 billion. That will result in 3 million Americans losing basic nutrition.

Madam Speaker, this proposal will hurt real people and literally take food off of their table. It's wrong, it's immoral, and it's irresponsible to take food away from deserving American citizens to balance a budget that is unbalanced because of reckless policies that have benefited the rich.

I urge my colleagues to develop a balanced approach to deficit reduction, to include cuts and new revenue. But food should be out of the conversation.