Washington, D.C. - Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) issued the following statement in response to benefit cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The cuts, which affect more than 47 million Americans, go into effect today due to the expiration of a temporary benefit increase under the 2009 Recovery Act. A family of three will receive $29 less per month, while a family of four will receive $26 less.
“Why is it that every time we discuss cutting costs in government, it is our most vulnerable citizens who pay the price?” asked Langevin, who is co-sponsoring a bill to extend the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s 13.6 percent temporary increase for one additional year. “SNAP amounts to only 2 percent of the federal budget, and yet it continues to be targeted for additional cuts, buts that will be devastating to millions of families. I was proud to join my colleagues who participated in the SNAP Challenge, helping us to understand what it is like to live on $4.50 per day. I assure you, it isn’t easy. And now, by allowing these benefits to expire, we are asking individuals to sacrifice more, living on an average of just $4.20 per day.
“Eighty percent of the households receiving SNAP benefits have monthly income below the poverty line, and these reductions will serve to push them further into poverty. We are forcing parents to go hungry so that their children have enough to eat. We are forcing families to choose between paying the rent and buying groceries. Those are choices that no American should have to make.”