Catholic advocates urge fairness as House readies farm bill vote

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WASHINGTON DC , June 19, 2013–Catholic leaders are urging Catholics nationwide to call their representatives in the House and ask for a farm bill that does not make deep cuts into food assistance programs both here and abroad.

“The bill reported by the (House Agriculture) Committee includes over $20 billion in cuts (over 10 years) to SNAP,” the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps,” said a June 17 letter signed by six national Catholic leaders.

“These cuts should be rejected.” The proposed cuts are five times those cuts in the Senate version of the farm bill, passed June 10. They are also the focus of a threatened presidential veto. “The bill makes unacceptable deep cuts in SNAP, which could increase hunger among millions of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, including families with children and senior citizens,” the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement.

“The administration believes that Congress should achieve significant budgetary savings to help reduce the deficit without creating hardship for vulnerable families — for example, by reducing crop insurance subsidies,” the agency said June 17.

“If the president were presented with H.R. 1947, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill.” (Zenit)

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