We wrote to you earlier about the Farm Bill (H.R. 2) that was introduced in the House last month. On May 18th, in a bi-partisan vote, the bill was defeated 213 to 198. It is a bill that the Congressional Budget Office estimates will take food away from more than two million people struggling in our communities, including parents raising kids, working people, people with disabilities, children, seniors, and veterans. Believe it or not, there were amendments added to the bill just before the vote on Friday that made an already terrible bill much worse. It added an additional 4.9 billion cuts from SNAP and made the new employment requirements even more rigid and unworkable for both families and states.
Make no mistake, your voice made a difference. This bill wouldn’t have been defeated without many anti-hunger advocates like you taking the time to make a call to their representatives, writing emails, and showing up in person to support policies that work.
At a time when more than 50 million U.S. households are now living in poverty or unable to meet the costs of ordinary expenses, this Farm Bill is an attack on our values. A new United Way study finds that 40% of U.S. households can’t afford the basic necessities of living a middle-class life, including food, rent, transportation, and childcare. That is unacceptable in this country.
While this is a victory, it is only a temporary victory. The House is likely to vote again on this bill in June. We strongly reject any cuts to SNAP in the Farm Bill and support a bill that helps hard working Americans who are struggling to get ahead have access to healthy and affordable food for their families. Your voice is necessary to make sure this bill doesn’t get passed, and to support investments in a healthier food system that works for everyone.
The final roll call from Friday’s vote is here. We need you to keep the pressure on our representatives and senators. If your representative voted No and stood up against hunger, thank them for their support. If your representative voted Yes to take away food from hard working Americans, urge them to change their vote to NO on irresponsible and deeply hurtful SNAP cuts if HR 2 comes to a vote again.