In case you hadn’t heard, the recession is over. It’s been over since June 2009, according to the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research. While the recession has ended, the devastation it left behind is still being felt. A record number of Americans are living in poverty and in need of a strong government safety net. Yet for the House of Representatives Agriculture and Ways and Means Committees it was more important to protect millionaires and unnecessary defense spending instead of vulnerable children and families who continue to struggle to make ends meet.
Yesterday, the Republican-controlled Agriculture Committee approved $33 billion worth of cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or what most of us refer to as food stamps. The Food Research and Action Council predicts that the cuts will push up to 3 million people off of the program, nearly half of which will be children. The Ways and Means Committee approved a measure that would require Social Security numbers for taxpayers claiming the Child Tax Credit. The Center for American Progress reports that families, who earn an average of $21,000 a year, will lose an average of $1,800. This change will affect over five million children, four million of whom are Latino.
It is highly unlikely that these cuts will ever happen given that once these bills make it out of the House, they won’t make it past the Democrat-controlled Senate and onto the President’s desk. Nonetheless, the Committees votes are telling as it gives us a glimpse into the priorities of the Republicans in the House of Representatives. Basically, they are saying that children do not matter.
So I ask you, do children matter to you? They certainly matter to me. I will call my Congresswoman and ask her to take a stand for children by rejecting these dangerous and misguided proposals when they come to a floor vote. Join me and do the same. Let’s show Congress we are keeping an eye on how they treat America’s children.