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Lawmakers “Representing” Most of the Hungriest Counties Voted to Cut SNAP

Friday, September 20, 2013

If you live in one of America’s 100 hungriest counties, there is a one-in-three chance that you rely on food stamps.

There is also a pretty good chance that your member of Congress just voted to kick you off food stamps.

And, if you live in Haywood County, Tennessee, or Shannon County, South Dakota, you can be sure your representative not only voted to kick you off food stamps but also voted to give him- or herself more farm subsidies.

Sadly, two-thirds of the 39 legislators who represent America’s 100 hungriest counties voted yesterday to cut funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, by $40 billion over the next ten years.

What’s more, the same legislators voted last month to increase unlimited subsidies for the largest farm businesses at a time of record farm income.

Two of the members with the hungriest counties in their districts not only voted to increase farm subsidies for their wealthy neighbors. They also voted to increase subsidies for themselves.

As EWG has reported, at least 15 members of Congress or their spouses received a total of $237,921 in farm subsidies in 2012. Ten of the 11 representatives who personally received farm subsidies voted yesterday (Sept. 19) to cut food stamps after voting to extend farm subsidies earlier this summer.

Members of Congress with one or more of the 100 hungriest counties in their districts       

Vote on "SNAP only" H.R. 3102
(passed 217-210)

Vote on "farm only" H.R. 2642
(passed 216-208)

Vote on crop insurance reform amendment to H.R. 1947
(failed 208-217)

Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.)

Yea

Yea

Nay

Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.)

Yea

Yea

Nay

Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.)

Nay 

Nay

Nay

Rep. Sanford Bishop, Jr. (D-Ga.)

Nay 

Nay

Nay

Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.)

Yea

Yea

Yea

Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.)

Yea

no vote

Yea

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.)

Nay 

Nay

Nay

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.)

Nay 

Yea

Nay

Rep. William "Lacy" Clay, Jr. (D-Mo.)

Nay 

Nay

Yea

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)

Nay 

Nay

Nay

Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.)

Yea 

Yea

Nay

Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.)

Yea 

Yea

Nay

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas)

Nay 

Nay

Nay

Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.)

Yea 

Yea

Nay

Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.)

Yea 

Yea

Nay

Rep. William Enyart (D-Ill.)

Nay 

Nay

Nay

Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.)

Yea 

Yea

Nay

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.)

Yea 

Yea

Yea

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.)

Nay 

Yea

Nay

Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Texas)

Nay 

Nay

Nay

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.)

Nay 

Nay

Nay

Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.)

Yea

Yea

Nay

Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas)

Nay 

Nay

Nay

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.)

Nay 

Nay

Nay

Rep. Ben Lujan (D-N.M.)

 Nay

Nay

Yea

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.)

 Yea

Yea

Nay

Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.)

 Yea

Yea

Nay

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.V.)

 Nay

Nay

Nay

Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.)

 Yea

Yea

Nay

Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.)

 Yea

Yea

Nay

Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.)

 Yea

Yea

Nay

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.)

 Yea

Yea

Nay

Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.)

 Yea

Yea

Nay

Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.)

 Yea

Yea

Nay

Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.)

 Nay

Nay

Nay

Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.)

 Yea

Yea

Nay

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.)

 Nay

Nay

Nay

Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas)

 Nay

Nay

Nay

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska)

 Nay

Yea

Nay

Note: 100 hungriest counties reported on a per capita basis using most recent complete set of SNAP data available.

Rep. Noem, for instance, received $1,400 in direct payments in 2012. The total amount in farm subsidies she has collected since 1995 is estimated to be more than $503,700. Noem represents nine of the hungriest counties and voted to drastically cut food stamps. But when given the chance to save billions in the farm bill earlier this summer, she voted against efforts to reform crop insurance subsidies and to continue tens of billions of dollars in other farm subsidies.

But only one member had the audacity to quote the bible to justify cuts to anti-hunger programs: Rep. Fincher.  Fincher represents Haywood County, Tennessee, where 32 percent of the residents rely on SNAP to feed their families. Fincher “gets by” on more than his Congressional salary of $172,000 – he and his wife banked more than $3.6 million in farm subsidies between 1995 and 2012.

Fincher is not the only “farmer” in Haywood County collecting farm subsidies. Landowners in Haywood Countycollected more than $3.8 billion a year in farm subsidies over the past decade.

If Fincher, Noem and their colleagues are truly interested saving money in the federal budget, they should start by reforming the farm bill – where it could do more good. Instead of gutting SNAP, which generates $1.73 throughout the economy for every $1 spent on food stamps, Congress should save billions of taxpayer dollars by imposing common-sense means testing and payment limits on crop insurance subsidies.

 

 

 

 

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