The FY 2018 budget recently released by the White House is an assault on Americans in need – and on American values. Proposed cuts to essential programs such as SNAP, WIC, Medicaid, TANF, EITC, and others would be devastating for the millions of Americans who rely on these programs.
The budget calls for a more than 25% reduction in SNAP, a crucial part of the safety net and a program which has been commended for its success by President Trump’s own Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, who recently called SNAP an “effective, important program.” Such enormous reductions spell hunger for millions of Americans in cities and rural areas across the United States. These Americans are mostly working parents, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. These beneficiaries of the program, which make up one out of every seven Americans, rely on SNAP to put food on the table in times of crisis so that they can get back on their feet. Most use the program for less than a year.
Cuts to other programs such as TANF, Medicaid, EITC, and the Congressional Hunger Center’s Bill Emerson and Mickey Leland Hunger Fellowship programs are short-sighted and will only serve to perpetuate the cycle of poverty rather than effectively break it.
Likewise, the proposed cuts of 11.5 billion dollars (29.1%) to the State Department and foreign assistance will increase poverty and hunger around the world. With one famine already declared and three others looming, 20 million people face starvation. We must increase, not cut, our humanitarian assistance. American values have made us a leader in humanitarian assistance to those in need. This budget would have us abandon those values and stand by watching while lives are lost. It would also have us act against our own best interests.
Americans have a long history of coming together in bipartisan support for SNAP, foreign aid, and other programs which assist people experiencing hunger and poverty in our own country and around the world. The Congressional Hunger Center urges Congress to renew its commitment to the American people and American values through a strong rejection of the proposed cuts in this cruel budget request.