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Congresswoman Clarke’s Statement on the Farm Bill’s Cuts to Nutrition Assistance

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke voted “no” on H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, which was passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 251 to 166.  The bill will deny food to hungry children, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities and increase financial instability for 850,000 Americans, of which 300,000 are New Yorkers.

The bill would eliminate $8 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, referred to as “SNAP.” About 83% of the beneficiaries of the program are children, disabled people, and senior citizens.  300,000 New Yorkers stand to lose an average of $90 dollars each month in SNAP benefits as a result of this bill. 

“This legislation provides billions of dollars in subsidies for multi-national corporations, and yet denies families the resources needed to buy groceries,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “We know that there are many children sent to school each morning without breakfast and families that must skip meals because their benefits are already inadequate. These cuts to SNAP will only exacerbate the problem.”

This bill would limit each state’s ability to coordinate the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as “LIHEAP,” and SNAP benefits, potentially reducing benefits for New York State residents by as much as $200 each month and forcing families to choose between paying for heat and hot water and paying for food.

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.