Advocates Must Weigh-in to Protect Safety Net Programs Including SNAP/Food Stamps as the White House and Congressional Leaders Discuss Raising the Debt Ceiling/Reducing the Deficit
Action Needed: Contact the White House (President Obama and Vice President Biden) and your Senators to urge them to protect SNAP and other safety net programs during the debt ceiling negotiations. Key decisions are happening now!
Background: As you know, Vice President Biden and a bi-partisan group of Congressional leaders have been negotiating a debt-ceiling/deficit reduction plan and hope to reach an agreement by July 1. News reports indicate those talks may be moving to a more select group with the President. At the top of the agenda is securing $4 trillion in savings from program cuts over the next 10 or 12 years. Whether or not revenues will be part of the final plan is also in play. Anti-hunger advocates must demand that the negotiators follow a key principle included in the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform’s plan (Bowles-Simpson): protect programs for low-income families and individuals, like SNAP, and make sure that the deficit reduction is achieved in a way that does not increase poverty.
Any plan that does not include a commitment to protect low-income people, and new revenues, will result in a massive loss of services for our nation’s most vulnerable, as in the recently passed House (Ryan) budget.
1. Contact the White House (President Obama and Vice President Biden). E-mail or call toll-free 1-888-245-0215
Message: Any deficit reduction plan must protect programs for low-income families and individuals, such as SNAP, and must also include new revenues. The plan should reduce poverty and help the disadvantaged, even as it attempts to shrink the deficit. Low-income assistance programs, like SNAP/Food Stamps, must be exempt from any caps and automatic across-the-board cuts which could be triggered when budget targets or fiscal restraint rules are missed or violated.
2. Call your Senators. Call your Senators and deliver the same message. Toll-free number: 1-888-907-1485, thanks to AFSCME.
Please take these actions immediately to demonstrate your support for responsible long-term deficit reduction through a combination of revenue increases and spending cuts that do not harm the poor and vulnerable.