WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report on the distributional effects of potential cuts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) spending on households with different incomes. The report follows a request from Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA), chair of the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality, and Opportunity, to look into this issue.
In the report, CBO analyzed three different proposals to reduce aggregate SNAP spending by 15%. CBO found that with each proposal, families earning the lowest incomes saw vastly disproportionate negative economic impacts. Under at least one proposal, a family of three on SNAP with an income below $15,000 per year would see a $600 cut. The report also discusses how proposals to turn SNAP into a block grant program, which Republicans have put forward in previous budget drafts, could allow for federal SNAP funding to be diverted to other programs and create the potential for even worse economic conditions for low income families.
“Today’s report makes clear the harmful impact that cuts to SNAP and other programs to protect the vulnerable would have on Americans living at or near poverty,” said Whip Hoyer. “For the past four years, Republicans have consistently proposed severe cuts to SNAP in their budgets alongside those to other safety net programs. I hope that, as they introduce and markup their budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2016 this week, Republicans consider these findings and produce a budget that works for all Americans. Democrats remain committed to protecting this safety net and opposing plans to place the burden of deficit reduction on the most vulnerable Americans.”
"Today's report by the nonpartisan CBO shows how Republican attempts to slash SNAP benefits for the poorest Americans would drive these families deeper into poverty and increase hunger in our communities," said Congresswoman Lee. "Today in America, one in five children is hungry and the statistics are even more tragic in the African American community where that number is one in three. We cannot continue attempting to balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable while providing giveaways to the richest amongst us."
To view the full CBO report, click here.