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Rep. Marcia Fudge Says Democrats Won't Support Cuts To Food Stamps

Preston Keres
Rep. Marcia Fudge questions Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue during a House committee meeting in May 2017.

Democrats and Republican in Congress passed a short term budget last month but another spending bill may not be as easy.  The proposed Farm Bill has upset Democrats, including U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge. The Agriculture Committee member and Warrensville Heights representative says it’s not going to pass. 

Fudge went to the Cleveland Foodbank to speak against the upcoming bill – most of the spending goes not to farmers but to the food stamp program, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 

Fudge is afraid adults who cannot find work in economically struggling areas will be kicked off the rolls.   

“Not that they don’t wish to work, I don’t know anybody that doesn’t want to work,” Fudge says. “But we have to find a way to make sure that we can put them in an environment  in which they can find a job before we penalize them for not having one.”

The chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, Texas Republican Mike Conaway, has said he is not cutting any funds or recipients of SNAP. But Democrats look to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue and President Trump, who have called for greater restrictionsand cutbacks in SNAP spending. 

“It is their philosophy that most of those people who are on SNAP are not deserving or they are lazy,  or they should be forced to work,” Fudge told WCPN. “Some of them can work, but most of the ones who can work, do work.”  

There is another reason the bill may have trouble. Fudge says the most right-wing Republicans, the Freedom Caucus, don’t want to support the bill because it does not cut enough. 

In Ohio, 1.6 million people, mostly children, received SNAP benefits in 2016.