this is the website for the
house committee on agriculture
. the guy at the top there is republican congressman from oklahoma,
. the chairman of the committee. the headline, house ad committee approves
with significant savings and reform. they voted 36-10 to pass its version of the
. the legislation that helps set our national
and which must be renewed every five years. when they voted for it, those 36
members of congress
pushed forward a bill that cuts more than $20 billion in funding over the next ten years from the supplemental
nutritional assistance program
or snap. previously known as
. the house ag committee is proud to have slashed a program that has a 96% efficiency rate. proud to cut a program that lifts millions from poverty, proud to have decimated that puts food on the table of children, the elderly and disabled. nearly 2 million people could become ineligible for the benefits if this
becomes law. these 36
members of congress
have voted to let people go hungry. as the website suggests, they seem to be proud of it. i think they ought to be ashamed. these are the members of the house agricultural committee. democrats and republicans who decided to slash aid to the neediest families. these are the 36 members who agreed that kids and families struggling to eat are the best one toss bear the burden of government cuts. these are the people who are proud of taking food off the table. but it looks like a shame scroll to me. joining me again are former
and pbs news hour editor christi christina. new to the table, james weill of the food, research and and lori
the co-director of a place at the table, a documentary out about food and security in nerk. at the bottom of the screen we'll run a list of every
member of congress
with twitter handles who voted for that
and committee, therefore, cutting snap benefits.
to get in touch with them if you like. why are snap benefits part of the
this was built in part because the agricultural bill, the
mostly had agricultural sub sudden is. you only had people in the -- that wanted to support it. people in more
weren't necessarily in favor of it. this was a compromise to get everyone together and pass something that would set the agricultural and nutritional policy. so it's been decades. the supplemental
system's program, actually got senator
from oklahoma wants to change that back to the name
because he's saying it's not actually about
because you can buy soda and
which of course is part of the reason those things are available is because the
under writes the -- which sweetens those products.
there's a lot of policy and gets at the nutritional foundation and the policy of this country. it's not an issue that should necessarily be looked at as a
fight except that it end up being a huge portion of that actual bill.
jim, i am -- i guess i must be enough of an optimist that i am still shocked that 36 members of the house, including democrats, would be voting to take food off of the table of children, of the elderly, of
. why is it so easy for them to cast this vote?
a lot of -- the democrats split, the republicans all voted. the democrats split. a lot of them who voted yes on this are from farm districts where they think their interests are supporting farmers and they want to cut
to do that. the participation for
is as high as it is in
because there's so much rural poverty. so much low wage
. this bill which targets mostly
and seniors hits everybody's district really hard. we need rural legislators as well as the urban and suburban ones to understand that.
what is it exactly that snap does? i think part of the reason the desire to go back to the
language has less to do whether it's about
or not and more about the idea that it's easy to label people with this
there's no question about it, melissa. actually, when my co-director and i were traveling the country meeting people who were on snap, they defied stereotypes. we recently brought a bunch of them to meet congress people. one was a tax attorney, an eisenhower fellow. someone who travels the globe teaching leadership goals and she said i was on snap as a child. you didn't even know me and you made sure i could eat. today you're trying to say that 17 million children like i was shouldn't have the same opportunity to repay society? these are investments. these are
programs. not handouts.
i'm looking up again at our screen. i'm looking at the names, going past. these are the names of the representatives, 36 of them who voted to cut billions from this program, would literally take food off the table and we're putting their names up because in part, this happened around gun legislation. this idea that people were unwilling to vote for man chin, fine, stand by that. you can see votes in committee, people feel the pressure. the reality is we're in a circumstance where we have folks voting to take food off the table. do you think that our shame scroll is effective, governor?
i think you're to be commended for bringing the issue to the forefront and letting people know what's going on. i was saying to jim earlier, one of my earlier acts in the
as a senator was to introduce a bill that would have either a
or commodity distribution. virginia had neither. i'm not talking about 100 years ago.
this was in the early '70s. so once we finally got it into place, people had no idea who benefited from it. your story is so well-told in terms of people who otherwise wouldn't have been fared. education is key toward letting the public know what is going ton. what legislation contains, what is the actual level of debate and what the real issues are. that's why it's very good of you to do this.
people don't believe that there are actually hungry americans. sometimes when we do our
work, people say no, not possible. in this country, i'm trying not to eat. i'm on a diet this week. there are folks going hungry.
it's made complicated by many people not getting adequate
appear obese and fat. it's because people don't understand how the two are conflat conflated, as you pointed out, when foods are heavily subsidized they become inexpensive. if you have a limited income as a family, you spend as many calories you can get into your children. that's often raman noodles,
pound foolish to think about cutting the
programs that give kids the
they need to learn. why are we investing in school if we don't have --
we're not investing in schools. we're going to do that in the second hour.
these types of conversations are happening and no one is calling out the rampant hypocrisy behind this when you have the representatives and the senators in major agricultural states who are taking handouts left and right.
meanwhile voting to cut benefits, food for poor kid.