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Cornyn and Cruz Vote No on Farm Bill Because $8B Cut to SNAP Isn't Enough

by: Emily Cadik

Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:30 PM CST

Congress just sent President Obama a farm bill that, among many other things, cuts $8 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as food stamps). It's a significant improvement over the $40 billion in cuts the House originally approved, and the cuts will be coming from sixteen other states - not Texas. But for 850,000 low-income families around the country, the cuts will have a very real impact.

For John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, however, the cuts did not go far enough.

"Unfortunately, this bill is not really a Farm Bill, it's a Food Stamps bill with some farm provisions," Cruz, who voted against the bill, said in a statement. "Instead of locking people into an endless cycle of dependence, we should be focused on making it easier for people to stand on their own feet by getting this weak economy booming. That's the American Dream."

Cornyn, who also voted no, said the bill was "a step in the right direction," but does not go far enough to reform SNAP. And by "reform," he means making the benefits less available.

Read more about the impact of the cuts after the jump.

Millions of Americans turned to food assistance during the recession, which began under Republican leadership. Now, Cruz and Cornyn want to punish them for not making enough money to put food on the table. But according to the Center for Public Policy Priorities, "The best way to reduce the federal budget for SNAP is to create jobs that pay enough for families to support themselves" - not to eliminate assistance.

"SNAP is the most unfairly maligned government program of the last decade," Celia Cole, CEO of the Texas Food Bank Network, said in a statement. "It has met the needs of millions of Americans impacted by the recession with documented efficiency and accuracy. It has lowered food insecurity rates, provided nutrition to millions of children, seniors and the disabled, and responded nimbly during times of disaster. Recent growth in the program is a testament to the shocking amount of poverty and food insufficiency in America today, not to any flaws in its design or performance."

Though this round of cuts will not directly impact Texas, Texas SNAP recipients have already been hit by a 7 percent decrease in benefits when Congress failed to extend an expiring stimulus boost.  And Texas is still one of the most food-insecure states in the nation, with one in five people considered food insecure.  

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