Nearly 290,000 Jobs at Stake Yearly in Proposed Congressional Cuts to Nutritional Assistance

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Hilda Herrera pays for her groceries using a nutrition assistance program at a supermarket in West New York, New Jersey. SOURCE: AP/Seth Wenig

Washington, D.C. —(ENEWSPF)–April 13, 2015.  As the U.S. House of Representatives returns this week after its spring recess and with achieving a balanced a budget still a priority for this Congress, the Center for American Progress is taking a closer look at two contrasting proposals on the table. One would support the nation’s wealthiest with a massive tax break, while another would leave millions of working families, seniors, and people with disabilities with less food on the table and cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.

In a new column, the Center for American Progress draws a contrast between the House vote to repeal the estate tax on the wealthiest 0.2 percent of households and their recent budget vote proposing draconian cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which lifts millions of people out of poverty and strengthens the entire economy. The House budget proposal to convert SNAP, the nation’s bedrock nutrition assistance program, into a block grant to the states would result in $125 billion in cuts to struggling families between 2021 and 2025, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. At the same time, the House proposal to repeal the estate tax would shower just 5,400 estates with an average tax cut of $2.5 million.

In her column, Vice President of the Poverty to Prosperity Program Melissa Boteach notes that instead of proposing a massive tax giveaway to millionaire estates, the House should invest in jobs and protect a program with a long history of reducing hunger and hardship. “It’s disingenuous to say we need to enact massive cuts in nutrition aid to balance the budget while voting on a tax giveaway to the richest 0.2 percent of estates that costs more than twice as much,” said Boteach. “In fact, just one week of the proposed estate tax cuts for millionaires could feed more than 337,000 children for a year.”

If the SNAP state block grant proposal goes into effect, up to 12 million people would no longer be eligible for nutritional assistance. Families could lose almost $55 per month in benefits that primarily help children, seniors, people with disabilities, and working families. The Center for American Progress also calculates that proposed cuts to nutrition aid would cost the economy 286,000 jobs in the first year alone if SNAP cuts are evenly distributed between 2021 and 2025.

“The House Republican budget proposal presents a double hit to struggling families,” said Boteach.

Click here to read the column.

Related resources:

The Economic Consequences of Cutting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by Jeffrey Thompson and Heidi Garrett-Peltier

Building Local Momentum for National Change: Half in Ten Annual Poverty and Inequality Indicators Report by Melissa Boteach, Shawn Fremstad, Erik Stegman, Sarah Baron, and Rebecca Vallas (CAP Action)