"Jim McGovern: Tea Party Cuts To Hunger Programs Are ‘Morally Indefensible’"
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), a long-time champion in the fight against hunger, is outraged by Republican cuts to food programs as the need for assistance has grown. Through no fault of their own, millions of American families are struggling to find jobs and put food on the table for their children, even as oil companies, agribusiness giants, and Wall Street traders reap record profits. The Tea Party response to this growing need has been to slash funding for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program by $686 million, hurting 200,000 to 350,000 low-income mothers and young children; to cut the Commodity Supplemental Food Program for low-income seniors by 22 percent, hitting at least 130,000 low income seniors; to drop The Emergency Food Assistance Program by $51 million; and to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by an astounding $2 billion.
In an exclusive interview with ThinkProgress last Friday, McGovern decried the agriculture appropriations bill, which is going to the House floor tomorrow:
The agriculture appropriations bill that the Republicans are putting on the floor next week cuts food and nutrition programs by more than half a billion dollars. I think that’s morally indefensible. We shouldn’t be balancing the budget on the backs of the poor. Taking food from people can’t be justified. We have a big fight next week and I hope that people are outraged by the priorities of this new Congress. They’re all messed up.
“The number of clients being served by the emergency food system increased 46 percent since 2006,” 47 hunger, justice, and religious organizations note, writing that “deficit reduction should not come at the expense of the most vulnerable among us, especially low income children and seniors for whom daily life is already a struggle. “