On May 7, Congressman Marlin Stutzman (IN-03) joined fellow members of the House Budget Committee to advance legislation to reprioritize spending reductions enacted in the Budget Control Act of 2011. The Sequester Replacement Act, which was passed by the committee and awaits action by the full House, includes policy reforms outlined in the Rural Economic Farm and Ranch Sustainability and Hunger (REFRESH) Act, H.R. 3111.
“Today, my colleagues and I showed the American taxpayer that we can meet our fiscal obligations, provide for a strong national defense, and help those who are truly in need,” said Stutzman. “The Sequester Replacement Act will ensure that servicemembers and their families don’t foot the bill for Washington’s failures. By targeting waste, fraud, and abuse, we reprioritized the savings called for under current law. I’m proud that the package the Budget Committee passed today includes key reforms that I introduced in the REFRESH Act.”
When the “Super Committee” failed to report $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction last December, political posturing triggered automatic and across-the-board cuts known as the “sequester,” including a 10 percent reduction in Department of Defense programs. Following the reconciliation instructions laid out in the House-passed budget, The Path to Prosperity, six committees authored deficit reduction legislation to refocus the cuts. Today, the House Budget Committee wrapped each of those six bills into the Sequester Replacement Act.
During the hearing, Stutzman noted the discrepancy between unemployment trends and SNAP growth. Over the past decade, SNAP has grown nearly 300 percent. “Unemployment goes down, SNAP benefits continue to go up. Unemployment goes up, SNAP benefits double and even triple. Now that unemployment rates are dropping again, we are still not seeing any drop in the SNAP program,” Stutzman said.
On April 18, 2012, the House Agriculture Committee made credible reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program).These reforms included policies outlined in the REFRESH Act. Senator Stutzman worked with Senator Richard Lugar (IN) to introduce the REFRESH Act on Oct. 5, 2011.
“The Sequester Replacement Act takes responsible and important steps to close loopholes. Ending categorical eligibility is a common sense solution I’ve worked on in the past and I’m glad to see this included today,” Stutzman stated.