“Though I’m not surprised, I’m extremely disappointed that the Tea Party-controlled House of Representatives continued its systematic assault on programs to support poor and working-class Americans today by passing legislation that cuts almost $40 billion from vital food assistance programs, On its own, the policy is bad enough – it denies hungry children, seniors, veterans, and struggling families modest assistance to put food on the table, and it abandons the moral principles our country is built on.
“But the twisted justifications from House Republicans are even worse. They claim that food assistance programs foster a dependency culture in our country, add to our national debt, and hold back our economy, but in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Study after study shows that food assistance programs lift millions of families out of poverty each year, provide a literal lifeline for children, seniors, and disabled Americans, and dramatically reduce homelessness and serious public health issues. And as Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, I know as well as anyone that every serious, bipartisan budget approach has protected food assistance from cuts because they are clearly not a driver of our long-term debt issues.
“Aside from the awful consequences this legislation would have on millions of struggling Americans, the message from House Republicans today also offends me in a very personal way, as a former recipient of federal food assistance. When I was young, and my family fell on hard times, our government helped my parents put food on the table for six children who are now contributing to our country as adults, so I will not turn my back on children and families who desperately need the help I got as a child.”