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House Passes H.R. 1586, the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act

Rep. Clarke Fights to Restore Social Programs That Were Cut Designed to Off Set Costs

Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1586, the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act. This legislation saves essential education jobs and extends the increased federal match for the Federal Medical Assistance Program (FMAP) until June 11, 2011. Unfortunately, in order to offset these provisions, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be adversely impacted. SNAP is a social safety net program that provides food stamps to many needy families across the nation.

“While I am glad to see that this legislation makes a significant investment in our teachers, with New York slated to receive between $600-$620 million for education jobs, I am concerned that we may be doing so at the expense of a vulnerable population who depend on SNAP to eat,” stated Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke. “While it is important that every program be paid for, we must be careful not to put other critical social safety net programs, such as SNAP, at risk. These programs provide vital services to the working class and poor amongst us and are especially needed during these hard economic times. ”

H.R. 1586, the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act will also save New York over $2.2 billion in Medicaid costs due to the extension of the increased federal match for FMAP.

“While I fully support the funding for teachers’ jobs and the extension of the increased FMAP funding, I am concerned that this ‘robbing from Peter to pay Paul’ approach to offset this legislation will harm the most vulnerable among us. I will be working hard to ensure that SNAP is restored to the increased funding levels established in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA),” added Rep. Clarke.

It is important to note that in ARRA, monthly food stamp benefits were increased until 2018. However, due to the offsets in H.R. 1586, effective March 31, 2014, monthly food stamp benefits will return to the levels that individuals would have received under pre-ARRA law.