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H.R. 3102, Statement for the Record

Sep 20, 2013
Floor Statement

Congressman albio Sires

Statement For the Record

Thursday, September 19, 2013

(Mr./Madam) Speaker, I rise today to express my serious concern about H.R. 3102: the so called “Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013”.  At a time when so many Americans are still struggling to recover from one of the greatest periods of economic downturn in our history, it is an outrage to me that Congress would once again seek to cut vital food assistance programs.

These are programs that ensure our children, our parents and grandparents, and America’s working families get basic nutritional aide when they’ve fallen on hard times. And the timing couldn’t be worse.  Just last year, as a result of the short sighted budget cuts known as sequestration, many of our seniors were already hit hard by cuts to programs like Meals on Wheels. Some estimates put those cuts as high as 19 million fewer meals each year.  And now Congress wants to cut food stamps for millions of Americans?   

Let me be clear, food stamps are critical to the health and wellbeing of our Nation’s most vulnerable populations.   In New Jersey’s 8th District, nearly thirty eight thousand (38,000) households rely on this benefit to feed their families.   Statewide, 45 percent of recipients are children and nearly 25 percent are either elderly or disabled adults.

I understand the need to bring our budget under control, but I encourage my colleagues to find a smarter path forward.  Let us not balance the budget on the backs of those among us who are the most vulnerable.