This week, Congress will vote on the last-minute, bipartisan budget deal that promises about $38 billion in cuts that, according to several economists, will knock a full point off U.S. economic growth. Republicans successfully extracted wide-ranging cuts on health care, job training, education, law enforcement, and nutrition assistance to women and children.
In response to the “severe budget cuts that would disproportionately target the poor and the hungry at home and abroad,” 28 Members of Congress are joining 35,000 Americans in former Congressman and Ambassador Tony Hall’s Hungerfast — an effort launched March 28 to demand that the budget deficit not be balanced on the backs of the vulnerable. In protest of “the severe cuts being proposed to poverty-focused international assistance programs” which “largely hurt women and girls globally” who represent “60 percent of the hungry worldwide,” 14 Democratic congresswomen will fast this week:
Fasters are demanding that the budget deficit not be closed by slashing programs targeting the vulnerable at a time of economic distress. In particular, Women Thrive co-launched this effort to draw attention to the severe cuts being proposed to poverty-focused international assistance programs, which will largely hurt women and girls globally. Women are the majority of the poor and 60 percent of the hungry worldwide.[…]
The women members fasting this week are Representatives Karen Bass (D-CA), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Susan Davis (D-CA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Laura Richardson (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Terri Sewell (D-AL), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) told ThinkProgress that, in these times, “many Americans are just hoping to be able to put food on the table.” “Republican cuts to programs that provide necessities to poor Americans, like Medicaid, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and SNAP, would devastate communities,” especially when “there’s a great need for them,” she said. “This fast is a small sacrifice to demonstrate my opposition to balancing our budget on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society.”