As Congress and the Super Committee work to reduce our nation’s deficits, I urge you to create a
circle of protection around programs for hungry and poor people in the United States and around theworld.
The numbers are staggering. Millions of families in the United States continue to feel the effects of the
recession—nearly one in six people in our country are poor. Around the world, nearly1 billion people
are hungry, and one child dies every 3.6 seconds from poverty, hunger, and preventable diseases.
This isn’t the time for Congress to cut programs that provide vital assistance tothose in need.
Programs for hungry and poor people make up only a fraction of the federal budget, but they have a
tremendous impact. The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit keep millions offamilies out
of poverty, reward work, and promote economic mobility. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) has responded quickly and effectively to need,preventing an
increase in the percentage of families struggling to put food on the table for three consecutive years.
International poverty-focused development assistance reduces the likelihood of conflictand
strengthens our national security. Moreover, cuts to poverty-focused development assistance will
restrict our ability to respond to humanitarian emergencies, such as the ongoing famine in theHorn of
We must do all we can to reduce the budget deficit but not on the backs of the most vulnerable
people. As you consider deficit-reduction proposals, I ask you to take a balanced andfair approach
and consider all areas of the budget, including revenues. Please form a circle of protection around
funding for hungry and poor people at home and abroad.
A higher percentage of theAmerican population is receiving government benefits than ever before.
Yes, there have always been poor people that have needed our assistance, but what does it say about
our economy that the number...
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