The Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act (H.R. 5504) has been delayed. The House of Representatives was set to vote on it this week, before the House recessed on October 8, but they skipped out early.
The Senate passed their version of the bill (Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act) this summer, but it was held up in the House because of the method used to pay for the six cents per meal increase.
The Senate voted to use $2 billion from the food stamps budget, but many people felt that reducing the food budget for people living below the poverty line was unacceptable. Those $2 billion would reduce the monthly food budget of a family of four by $59.
I spent $67 on groceries for my family this week. Cutting my food budget by $59 would be difficult for me. For a family already living on the edge of subsistence, $59 would be a significant hardship.
Our representatives in the House know this. The House won’t reconvene until after the elections in November. Did they delay this difficult decision because they know they’re going to cut food stamps and they don’t want to be unpopular going into an election? Or do they have an alternate plan of raising taxes or cutting another important program?
Image by qmnonic, used with a Creative Commons license.