Congress is home for a two-week Passover/Easter recess. Before members left, the House sent a stopgap spending bill (H.R. 90) for the remainder of FY2013 to the President for signature, and both chambers passed separate (very different) FY2014 budget resolutions. As proposals to weaken SNAP continue, take action this recess to push back on the proposed cuts and tell Congress that #SNAPworks!
Here’s your two-step recess action plan.
- Get more co-sponsors for H.R. 90. Is your representative on this list? If not, call your representative and urge him/her to cosponsor H.Res. 90, the Sense of the House Resolution opposing SNAP cuts. Please share any intelligence with Ellen Teller, email@example.com or Etienne Melcher, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contact your member by tweeting #whileurhome. It is not too late to invite your representative to stop by during the recess. FRAC has created the hashtag #whileurhome as a way for you to encourage your representative to participate in events around the district. For example, if there is an event in your community, tweet this at them: @MOC #whileurhome come to our event and #talkpoverty to #endhungernow. Be sure to include a link to the town hall or event so they can easily find the details. Ask your representative questions about their efforts to support SNAP #whileurhome.
Last Thursday, the House passed a stopgap spending bill (H.R. 933), previously passed by the Senate, to fund the government through the remainder of FY2013. The bill includes provisions from five full-year spending bills including agriculture. It keeps existing spending caps in place and does not replace the sequester, which went into effect March 1. While still subject to the sequester, it is likely that WIC will be able to manage through the rest of the fiscal year without cutting any participants by using the new funding allocation, WIC contingency funds, unspent SNAP transfer funds carried over from the previous year, and unspent recovered funds available for reallocation.
Each chamber passed its own FY2014 budget resolution before leaving town. The House budget resolution—which converts SNAP to a block grant program and drastically cuts program spending—passed on a near party-line vote. Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray’s budget proposal passed and generally protects SNAP and other safety net programs from cuts. Since the budget resolutions are drastically different, it is unlikely that both chambers will come to agreement on a joint budget resolution. (FRAC: www.frac.org)