During one of the worst national recessions the government has decided to cut $12 billion from the Food Stamp fund, potentially effecting 41 million Americans.
In the midst of Michelle Obama’s campaign to eat well, the Government has decided to help its citizens do just the opposite.
House members convened Tuesday to pass the multibillion-dollar bailout bill for cash-strapped states. The Bill requires that $12 billion be stripped from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, to help fund programs that provide $10 billion to school districts. The money will be used to rehire laid-off teachers or ensure that more teachers won’t be let go before the new school year begins, keeping more than 160,000 teachers on the job, the Obama administration says.
Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, blasted the move as “a bitter pill to swallow” but still voted yes.
“I fought very hard for the food assistance money in the Recovery Act, and the fact is that participation in the food stamps program has jumped dramatically with the economic crisis, from 31.1 million persons to 38.2 million just in one year,” DeLauro said in an e-mail sent to FoxNews.com. “But I know that states across the nation and my own state of Connecticut also desperately need these resources to save jobs and avoid Draconian cuts to essential services for low income families.”
The Food Research and Action Center said a family of four would see benefits drop about $59 per month starting in 2014.
According to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures, the number of people on the food stamp rolls has been growing to record levels for 18 straight months. Nearly $5.5 billion in aid went out to beneficiaries in May alone. The number of May recipients marked a 19 percent increase from a year ago and the USDA projects that next year’s enrollment will reach about 43.4 million.
The Obama administration has pushed hard for the $26 billion bill. The White House argued that it is essential to protecting 300,000 teachers and other nonfederal government workers from election-year layoffs and will not add to the national deficit.
“If we do nothing, these educators won’t be returning to the classroom this fall, and that won’t just deprive them of a paycheck, it will deprive the children and parents who are counting on them to provide a decent education,” Obama said in the White House Rose Garden shortly before the bill’s passed on Tuesday.
“This proposal is fully paid for, in part by closing tax loopholes that encourage corporations that ships American jobs overseas. So it will not add to our deficit,” he said. “And the money will only go toward saving the jobs of teachers and other essential professionals…I urge members of both parties to come together and get this done, so that I can sign this bill into law.”