Cantor & Boehner

The Republican proposal for $40 billion in food stamp cuts over the next 10 years would have horrific effects on millions of people, the Congressional Budget Office confirms:

According to the CBO, 1.7 million people would be forced off the rolls in the coming year if the state waivers are repealed as proposed by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). Another 2.1 million would be dropped in 2014 as a result of the tighter eligibility rules backed by the GOP.In both cases, the impact would decline as the economy improves and more jobs become available. But on average, CBO estimates that a total of 2.8 million people would lose their benefits over the next decade, and another 850,000 households will see an average reduction of about $90 a month in benefits.

That’s 1.7 million people going hungry or being forced onto severely restricted diets now, with millions more to come. A $90 cut in the groceries a family can buy in a month is also a big deal, especially for a family that’s already pinching every penny to get enough to eat. Taking $90 out of a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program allotment that already only lasts most families two and a half weeks is in itself cruel—and, from the most coldly financial perspective, shortsighted, since forcing people to eat more cheaply means increased risk of diabetes and other chronic conditions that will raise health care costs for the nation.

But this is what Eric Cantor and the starvation caucus of his party want. And even if they can’t actually get $40 billion in cuts through the Senate or signed by the president, the farm bill—which nutrition assistance is usually part of and which House Speaker John Boehner isn’t sending to conference with the Senate until these cuts get a vote—sure makes a nice hostage to take in the effort to force deeper cuts than either the Senate or the president would want to make.

Please send an email to your member of the House of Representatives, telling him or her to oppose all cuts to food stamps.