House Republicans Target Food Stamps for $32 Billion Cuts
Part of House GOP budget that ends Medicare
Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee are advancing a measure today that would cut nearly $32 billion from Food Stamps (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) at a time when the number of people receiving Food Stamps has grown dramatically. Nearly 30,000 households in Michigan’s 12th Congressional District received Food Stamps in 2010, the most recent year that data is available. Those families had an average income of less than $19,000.
Under the GOP proposals, an average family of four would face an 11 percent cut after Sept. 1, Politico noted in a front-page story this week highlighting the cuts.
The cuts come as part of the same Republican budget that would end the Medicare guarantee and lavish nearly $400,000 in tax cuts on the average millionaire.
“Food Stamps help tens of thousands of hard-working families in southeast Michigan and these proposals would dramatically impact their ability to put food on the table,” said Rep. Levin. “Rather than cut back programs for the most vulnerable populations, it is time for House Republicans to support asking slightly more from the very wealthiest households.”
Legislation before the House Agriculture Committee today would:
- Eliminate the LIHEAP trigger eligibility for SNAP, cutting $14.3 billion.
- Eliminate automatic SNAP eligibility for people on TANF, cutting $11.7 billion.
- Move up the expiration of the SNAP benefit increase that was enacted as part of the 2009 stimulus law (PL 111-5), cutting $5.9 billion
Food Assistance in Southeast Michigan
The impact of the economic downturn has been dramatic on to residents across the state and in the county.
- Today, one in five Michigan residents receives food stamps.
- According to the Department of Human Services, the number of Macomb County residents receiving food assistance has nearly doubled -- from 67,891 in 2007-2008 to 115,081 in 2009-2010.
- There has been a nearly fivefold increase in the number of people receiving food stamps in Macomb County since 2002.
- In total, 14 percent of residents participated in the food stamp program in 2010.
- In Macomb County, nearly 16 percent of the population, or more than 133,000 people receive food stamps
- Nearly 18 percent of Macomb residents have inadequate access to food at some point during the year.
- Our local food banks, Forgotten Harvest and Gleaners, report serving an estimated 489,700 different people annually.