Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, yesterday voted against the “Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act”, a Republican bill that cuts the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by nearly $40 billion. The bill – which is opposed by numerous religious, charitable, anti-hunger, senior, homelessness and farm groups – passed by a vote of 217-210.
Before the vote, Rep. Lujan Grisham spoke on the House floor in opposition to the cuts and the bill, highlighting the importance of SNAP to New Mexico families. Below are her remarks and a link to the video.
In June, Congresswoman Lujan Grisham participated in the SNAP Challenge, where she attempted to live on the average SNAP budget, or $31.50, for one week.
“Thank you to my colleague from Ohio, and thank you, Madam Speaker.
“I rise in opposition to this disastrous bill that cuts $40 billion from SNAP, a vital program that feeds over 442,000 New Mexicans, half of whom are children.
“I want to share the story of LaNae Havens, which shows just how much SNAP means to the people in my district.
“LaNae is a single mother with a handsome nine-year-old son named Konnor. She works full-time, but she doesn’t make a lot of money. She has to pay for childcare, rent, transportation to work, utility costs and all the other expenses families face. That doesn’t leave much money for food – and certainly not for the healthy, nutritious food that growing children need.
“Now, Konnor suffers from anemia. Without her $33 a week in food assistance, LaNae says there’s no way she would be able to feed her son the protein- and iron-rich foods he desperately needs.
“She’s terrified of what happens if she loses SNAP.
“I did the SNAP Challenge, and it’s just enough to get by. You can’t buy fresh vegetables. You can’t buy enough protein. And the thought that we would make it even less for those Americans who need it is unconscionable.
“I don’t want Konnor to go hungry, and I urge all of my colleagues to vote against this bill.
“I yield back.”