A Plan to Worsen Child Hunger
Four of Arizona’s nine Representatives in Congress voted last week to kick Arizonans off of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as food stamps, for owning a car that is worth more than $2,000. Representatives Salmon, Schweikert, Franks, and Gosar also voted to throw families off of food stamps even if their disposable income after child care expenses fell below 130% of the poverty level ($25,389 income per year for a family of three)1.
This bill in Congress, H.R. 3102, was supported by House Republicans as part of their effort to cut federal spending and get people to work. But letting Arizona families go hungry because they own a car worth a couple of thousand dollars or they earn a little bit higher income and spend a large portion of that on child care certainly doesn’t sound like a plan to get people to work. The Senate is not expected to pass this bill.
The day before the vote on this bill all of our Representatives had the chance to read a report that showed close to 28% of all Arizona families with children did not have enough money to buy the food they needed at least once in the last year. Only seven other states had higher rates of reported hunger in between the years 2008 and 2012, according to the Food Research and Action Center.
Arizona families need nutritious food and affordable child care while they are working to move up the economic ladder. Cutting federal spending only makes the US a weaker nation when it means more children grow up without basic nutrition.