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STATEMENT IN REACTION TO SENATE PASSAGE OF FARM BILL, ANTI-HUNGER ADVOCATES URGE PRESIDENT OBAMA TO MAKE GOOD ON INEQUALITY PLEDGE BY VETOING BILL
Statement from New York City Coalition Against Hunger Executive Director Joel Berg
“I am devastated, but unfortunately not surprised, by the Senate’s passage of a Farm Bill cutting SNAP by nearly $9 billion, on top of $11 billion in cuts that took place last November 1st. Our political system is so broken it has morphed into spineless versus heartless, and low-income Americans are, once again, those who will suffer most. Every member of Congress who voted for this legislation should be embarrassed. It’s an orgy of corporate welfare and subsidies for the wealthy paid for by cuts to programs that help the needy put food on the table. It is Robin Hood in reverse.
If cutting programs for the poor is the price of passing legislation in Washington, I think we’ve really strayed far from what made us great as a nation. America was founded on the notion of equal opportunity for all. Of a place where hard work meant that you could provide basic needs for your family. Today, that is not the case.
The President has called inequality the defining issue of our time, and said that he would use the executive authority granted to him by the Constitution to reduce inequality, and he has never been more right. If he’s truly serious about his pledge to reduce inequality and increase opportunity in our country, he’ll start with ensuring that Americans don’t go to sleep hungry.
President Obama, I urge you not to sign this bill into law. The most basic building block of economic opportunity is sufficient food. The most basic executive authority the President has over policy is the veto. To prove he is serious about using this legal authority to reduce inequality, the President should veto this bill, and ask Congress to go back to the drawing board and come back with a bill that reduces hunger, aids small farmers, and serves taxpayers.”