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Statement on House Approval of Devastating Cuts to Food Assistance Programs

WASHINGTON – Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives approved the so-called Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act, Republican legislation that imposes massive cuts on federal food assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The $40 billion in cuts deny basic food assistance to nearly 4 million Americans next year.

The House voted 217-210 in favor of the legislation, which Rep. Yarmuth opposed.

“Today’s House vote to strip nearly $40 billion from federal food assistance programs directly threatens the health and financial security of the more than 44,000 Louisville families who depend on these programs to put food on their tables,” Congressman Yarmuth said. “These cuts would also needlessly weaken our economy, as every $5 spent on food assistance generates $9 in local economic activity.”

More than 90 percent of people receiving SNAP assistance are children, the elderly, disabled, or already working. At present, more than 273,000 Kentucky households receive basic food assistance, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The House bill also cuts school lunches for more than 200,000 children and eliminates food assistance for 170,000 veterans across the nation.

Economists consider SNAP a highly effective generator of economic growth. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, SNAP is one of the most cost-effective of all spending and tax options for boosting growth and jobs.