Statement of CSPI President Dr. Peter G. Lurie
Yesterday, the GOP-majority House passed a bill cutting government spending at the expense of Americans struggling to put food on the table. The Center for Science in the Public Interest is outraged that this misguided policy would restrict access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and would balance the budget on the backs of households with low incomes.
H.R. 2811 would increase the age of adults subjected to work requirements in order to qualify for SNAP benefits. However, as many researchers noted after a similar proposal by the Trump administration, imposing more work requirements on struggling families does not increase employment. Rather, punitive work requirements limit SNAP participation, exacerbating food insecurity for millions of children, veterans, older adults, people with disabilities, and any other individuals facing barriers to work, such as youth aging out of foster care, those reentering the workforce after incarceration, and the chronically unhoused. The bill also would eliminate states’ flexibility to carry unused work requirement exemptions into following years, stifling state agencies’ ability to support people when they most need food assistance, such as during a natural disaster or chemical spill.
Contrary to the GOP’s intent of this bill, the SNAP program safeguards and strengthens—not weakens—the economy as every $1 spent in SNAP benefits boosts the gross domestic product by $1.50.
CSPI urges the Senate and President Biden to do the right thing and reject the Republican leadership’s cynical and cruel assault on SNAP recipients. Congress should address the debt limit in a manner that does not restrict food access for people struggling with the harmful effects of poverty.
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