Thursday, February 27, 2014
Governors move to block Farm Bill’s food stamp cuts - Hope more follow
cuts included in the 2014 Farm Bill, which was originally expected to cost as many as
850,000 households an average $90 per month in benefits. This week, the governors of
New York and Connecticut both Democrats announced they would move around federal
funds to prevent food stamp cuts in their respective states.
The governors were able to delay the cuts for one year by increasing the amount of
heating subsidies that affected households receive. The 2014 Farm Bill, which
President Obama signed into law earlier this month, cuts food stamp benefits for
households which receive less than $20 per month in heating subsidies.
To get around the proposed cut, New York and Connecticut will simply raise
federal heating subsidies for all the affected households to just barely meet the threshold.
In New York alone, which was originally expected to absorb up to 30% of the
Farm Bill’s food stamp cuts, that means nearly 300,000 households will get to
keep an average $127 per month in benefits which they would have otherwise lost.
Food Bank For New York City President Margarette Purvis, who also chairs
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Anti-Hunger Task Force, said she was ecstatic over the news.
“It’s a huge deal,” she said. “It’s a huge deal. This Farm Bill cut has been our nightmare.”
Before the passage of the Farm Bill, emergency food services in New York and
around the country had already been grappling with historic levels of hunger,
precipitated in part by a $5 billion across-the-board cut to food stamp benefits
that went into effect on Nov. 1. Adding the Farm Bill cuts to that equation, said Purvis,
“would have taken us from being basically devastated … to being decimated.”
Salon’s Blake Zeff joins the Cyclists to discuss the farm bill, which is being praised
as bipartisan despite cutting $8 billion from the nation’s food stamp…
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Cuomo and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy were able to prevent this year’s round
of food stamp cuts because of a recent increase in the amount of money their states
receive from LIHEAP, the federal heating subsidy program. Gov. Deval Patrick of
Massachusetts and Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont may soon follow their lead.
But those are only four governors at most, and the Farm Bill cuts are expected to reduce
food stamp benefits in fifteen states, plus Washington, D.C. Furthermore, while Malloy
and Cuomo have been able to prevent benefits from going down in 2014,
nobody is making any guarantees about the following year.
“If we and one or two other states manage to fix this temporarily, it makes this
marginally less horrible,” said New York City Coalition Against Hunger executive
director Joel Berg. “But it’s still horrible.”
As a result, the battle to mitigate the damage wrought by the Farm Bill continues
on the federal level. Last week, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Rep. James McGovern,
D-Mass., and 15 other members of Congress co-signed a letter urging USDA Secretary
Tom Vilsack to delay the food stamp cuts long enough for their respective states to
formulate a response. The letter has not yet received a response, according to a
***This is good that Governors are doing what they can.
Really knowing the lack of sales this will bring! Many poor will respond by
cutting all their bills to make it. No cable, Netflix etc.
Might even voluntary repossess their car to get more money,
no car payment, insurance etc.
In small towns this will be bad, but needed because this mess will bring
up their pay as most stay home on the weekend and have door to door
sales people bouncing off them like ping pong balls. No sale!
Anyway the poor will adapt, just get rid of stuff, cut their cost.
Live in their apartment with no power on the weekdays to keep the bills down,
only have the power on the weekends.
That is something I have done and it worked. My went bill down!
The poor just has to adapt. the wages going up will follow the crash of no sales!
The poor has power in that! Adapt, hang in there! If your pay will not go up then
bring their pay down, cut your bills. Let them know to get their new
Dodge truck next year! Get off their pile of money and pay people better!