WASHINGTON, DC July 22, 2013 - Fourteen members of Congress voted to keep millions of dollars of their own federal farm subsidies but not to extend nutrition aid for low-income working families, according to a new report issued today by U.S. Representative George Miller (D-CA).
The report shows these 14 Republican members of Congress, who each voted for a Farm Bill that excluded a nutrition title for the first time in four decades, have received more than $7.2 million in government farm subsidies, or an average of $515,279 in handouts. At the same time, they have a combined net worth of as much as $124.5 million, according to public records.
In stark contrast, the typical household receiving aid under the farm bill through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), has a gross monthly income of only $744, and their average monthly SNAP benefit—which every member detailed in this report voted against extending— is just $281.
"It's outrageous that some members of Congress feel it is ok to vote for their own taxpayer subsidies but against critical nutrition assistance for 47 million Americans," said Miller. "It's bad enough that the House of Representatives didn't pass a Farm Bill that included authorization for sorely-needed nutrition programs, but to see members of Congress approving their own benefits at the expense of the working poor is a new low, even for this Congress."
As one example, the report shows that Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), with an estimated net worth of up to $5.6 million dollars, has collected at least $1.7 million in farm subsidies but voted to let the nutrition program for working poor families expire.
The report includes detailed profiles of each of the 14 members of Congress, as well as policy recommendations to ensure a strong Farm Bill, transparency in farm assistance, and benefits properly targeted to where they are needed most.
By submitting a comment you consent to our rules. You must use your real first and last name, not a nickname or alias. A comment here is just like a letter to the editor or a post on Facebook. Thank you.