Mr. GIBSON. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
The text of the amendment is as follows:
Strike section 10010.
The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 271, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Gibson) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.
Mr. McGOVERN. I want to thank the gentlelady for yielding.
Let me get this straight. So, if Congress doesn't do its job, we don't get punished--poor people get punished. I think we have it backwards here. Why should we hold poor people hostage to the fact that somehow this Congress can't get its act together? For our lack of ability to get things done around here, we don't hold people accountable who receive other subsidies who are, quite frankly, well off.
This is yet another in a series of amendments to diminish the plight of poor people, to demonize programs like SNAP; and I really think it's unfortunate. I mean, we're going to punish poor people because we can't reauthorize the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. What a terrible idea. I hope that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will agree with us on this and reject this.
Ms. DeLAURO. I think it's really rather incredible that we, once again, in the prior amendment have singled out a group of people, many of whom today are people who were working but who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and who find themselves in a situation in which they have to access the food stamp program in order to feed their families.
On the other hand, those people whom I singled out earlier--the 26 individuals--will get at least $1 million in a premium subsidy for crop insurance, and they have no income threshold at all. These folks, if we can't get to a compromise, will continue to get what they're getting. They're eating well. I would bet they have more than three squares a day.
Let's think about who this amendment targets--76 percent of SNAP households, including child, senior or disabled individuals. The average household on SNAP has a gross monthly income of $744. The average SNAP allocation is already less than $1.50 per meal, and 55 percent of SNAP dollars go to households with incomes below half of the Federal poverty line. This targets the poorest. It asks them to pay a price for congressional farm bill politics.
Let's talk about the Members of Congress. If they can't get it to a compromise, let's make sure they don't get their salaries and that we do something to those who are responsible for not getting the job done. Don't take it out on the poorest people in this Nation. This is unprecedented. It is immoral. I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. CONAWAY. Many of the arguments that have just been made speak to why we need to do this deal. We need that sense of urgency that is portrayed on the other side in order to get this FARRM Bill done.
Now, this amendment won't take effect until the next FARRM Bill; but right now, this FARRM Bill's only production agriculture and conservation programs are trying to drag this program across the finish line with 219 votes. The nutrition program and its supporters couldn't give a rat's rear end whether or not it gets passed because its program goes forward without any effect if we don't do anything. They're really at an advantage to production agriculture.
This is not about the SNAP program, and this is not about the benefits. This is simply saying, I don't necessarily think SNAP is perfect, and the only way to get out of SNAP reform is to bring the SNAP beneficiaries--who are in every single congressional district, as opposed to farmers who are not in every single congressional district--to the table, to have some skin in the game, to make sure that they are communicating to their Members of Congress that they want them to get something done.
Right now, they're just simply on the take side. They're not part of the process, and they don't have to be because of the way we've done these rules. Arguing against the rules of the House don't argue about the idea that we must do our jobs. As Congressmen, we do our jobs. I've got folks back home who motivate me to do it far more than anything else that's up here. This amendment is simply saying that SNAP has a role and that the SNAP beneficiaries have a role in communicating to their Members
of Congress to get this work done on a timely basis.
I urge support of the amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.
The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Conaway).
The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.