Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rep. Joe Crowley: Cuts to Anti-Hunger & Nutrition Programs Are "Penny-Wise & Pound-Foolish"

Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), released the following statement in opposition to the Republicans’ proposed cuts to nutrition programs for families, seniors and children in the 2012 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food & Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2112). This legislation includes a devastating cut of $650 million to one of our nation’s most important anti-hunger programs – the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). In New York State, this could mean almost 20,000 participants could be kicked off the WIC program. In addition, the bill slashes food aid for low-income seniors through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program and help for food banks through the Emergency Food Assistance Program at a time when seniors, families and anti-hunger organizations are all struggling to get by. Congressman Crowley voted against the bill, which ultimately passed by a vote of 217-203.

“At a time when families, seniors and children in New York and around the country are relying on food assistance more than ever, the Republicans’ legislation would slash access to nutritious food, counseling on healthy eating and health care referrals for those who are struggling.

“This bill is penny-wise and pound-foolish. Republicans claim they are making these cuts to reduce the deficit and get our fiscal house in order, but this bill is not the way to make that happen. What will the costs be down the road as children grow up without a healthy start because they have a hungry stomach?

“Despite not being willing to end tax breaks for oil companies making tens of billions in profits and corporations taking advantage of overseas tax loopholes, Republicans are more than ready to cut programs on the backs of those who are struggling to survive in this economy. Our priorities should be about helping working families and those in need – not eliminating benefits that are already stretched thin.”