Topic: House of Representatives
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September 25, 2013 at 7:26 AM
A punch in the gut
When I first heard that the House of Representatives narrowly passed legislation to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by $4 billion annually for the next 10 years, I was shocked and saddened. [“House conservatives vote to cut $4B in food stamps,” News, Sept. 20.]
A “yes” vote on this bill means a deliberate decision to vote to make people hungry. This bill claims to fight fraud and waste in the system but it actually is a slap in the face to all the charitable hunger-relief organizations that have struggled to meet the record rise in need for emergency-food services since the start of the recession, on dwindling contributions from the private sector.
Furthermore, it’s a punch in the gut to the families in crisis who need SNAP to survive. There are 1.1 million Washingtonians who rely on SNAP. These are children, seniors living on fixed incomes, people with disabilities who are unable to work, veterans and workers who are underpaid or underemployed.
All of these people are already being asked to make a sacrifice when, on Nov. 1, the average benefit will be reduced to less than $1.40 per person, per meal.
Congress isn’t asking anyone else to make this kind of sacrifice. It’s insulting and demeaning, and we should all be outraged.
Christina Wong, SeattleInformation in this letter, originally published on Sept. 25, 2013, was corrected on Sept. 26, 2013. A previous version of this letter stated that SNAP would be cut by $4 billion, but did not include the information that the program would be cut by $4 billion annually for the next 10 years.
September 24, 2013 at 6:27 AM
A modest proposal
If the House and Senate fail, yet again, to do their job, and the federal government shuts down Oct. 1, I have a proposal. [“Leaders bicker, shutdown looms,” page one, Sept. 21.]
As of Oct. 1, every member of the House and Senate, and all of their staff, should cease receiving all pay, health benefits and pension credits.
Let’s see if they can take it as well as they can dish it out.
Brad Goodwin, Seattle
March 9, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Arguments against labeling are lacking
Thanks for the coverage of “House panel hears biotech-food testimony,” [NWThursday, March 7].
It must have been hard for Robert Maguire to make his arguments against labeling GMOs with a straight face.
First Amendment issues. Really?
Less choice in Europe. Really?
–Margy Laughlin, Seattle
February 27, 2013 at 4:01 PM
Reliance on federal funding may need to end
Monday’s Seattle Times article “Stalemate in D.C. may cost state millions in federal aid” [page one, Feb. 25] predicts a disaster for our state. Hundreds of teacher layoffs, thousands of children losing vaccinations, child care, college help and Head Start. Loss of cancer screening, cuts in health care and drinking water protection, etc. All from a 3 percent cut in federal aid to our state.
It’s incredible to think that we can’t find moneys by juggling our own budget dollars to avoid such cuts. If not, it shows how irresponsible our politicians have been in depending upon federal help to run our state.
We had better get used to paying our own way because the feds have run out of money!
–Wayne Jensen, Kirkland
Sequester sees bipartisan disapproval
Republicans hate the sequester. Democrats hate the sequester. The president hates the sequester. Finally, everyone agrees on something. Be bipartisan. Repeal the sequester.
In total, the U.S. House took 33 votes to repeal Obamacare. Surely they can take one vote to repeal the sequester!
–Paula Joneli, Des Moines
Lottery to ease budget needs
It’s time the residents of the USA take the matter into their own hands since Congress will not.
Let’s establish a U.S. residents lottery where the profits goes toward paying down the deficit and the debt.
I would be the first to commit to buying a ticket or two a week to support a good cause that will not harm my fellow residents the way a sequester will.
–Ruth Knagenhjelm, Normandy Park
Support those with low income, food banks
When people are being faced with significant cuts to their unemployment checks, how can we let food banks take the hit as well [“Jobless, cities could be first to feel budget pain,” seattletimes.com, Feb. 25]?
Many people already relying on unemployment benefits and other social-welfare programs will have to line up at food banks to get the food they need. However, food banks are also at risk for a loss of funding. The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which provides the funding necessary to keep food banks and distribution centers open, may be eliminated completely as a result of upcoming budget cuts.
Even without the threat of budget cuts, the need for emergency food services in Washington has been on the rise. Since 2008, the number of people visiting food banks has increased by 35 percent yet the amount of state support TEFAP is receiving has remained the same.
According to the Washington State Department of Agriculture, between June 2011 and June 2012 alone, there were 8.6 million visits to food banks. This number shows an increase of 500,000 from the previous year. A $3.7 million increase in TEFAP’s budget is necessary to keep up with the rising demand in emergency food services.
You can help! Please urge your legislator to support the $3.7 million increase of TEFAP’s budget. Find your legislator by visiting www.leg.wa.gov or by calling the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000.
–Amy Thome, Perla Castaneda and Morgan Cole
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