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Congresswoman Brown leads bill with Congresswoman Sykes to protect SNAP benefits during government shutdown....By Clevelandurbannews.com, Ohio's Black digital news leader

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WASHINGTON, DC.-Today, Ohio Congresswoman Shontel Brown (OH-11)), a Warrensville Hts. Democrat who's 11th congressional district includes Cleveland, joined Congresswoman Emilia Sykes (OH-13)(both pictured), ban Akron Democrat and the youngest of Ohio's five member Democratic Congressional Delegation, in introducing The Feed Our Families During a Shutdown Act to ensure SNAP recipients can continue to access their benefits up to three months after a government shutdown occurs.


The Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program, commonly known as SNAP, provides food benefits, such as food stamps  cards and produce, to low-income families to supplement their grocery budget.


One of three Blacks in Congress from Ohio, Brown is a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, which has jurisdiction over the Department of Agriculture's SNAP program.


More than 1.4 million people in Ohio receive SNAP benefits, including nearly one-in-four people in Ohio's 11th District that Brown leads. And a disproportionate number of them  are low-income Blacks and poor Blacks.

"We cannot play politics with people's food," said Brown. "Almost one in every four of people in Ohio's 11th Congressional District relies on SNAP. "


The congresswoman went on to say that " an extended shutdown is putting their benefits at risk, and increasing hunger for working families, children and the elderly."


"I am proud to co-lead this critical legislation with Congresswoman Sykes and will continue to urge the Speaker[Rep Kevin McCarthy] and his party [the Republican Party] to avoid a shutdown and fund the government," the congresswoman said.


A former state representative and minority leader of the Ohio House of Representatives, Sykes is just as concerned relative to the controversial public policy  issue.

"No American should ever go hungry because of the failure by Congress to fund SNAP," said Congresswoman Sykes. "The Feed Our Families During a Shutdown Act will ensure millions of Americans, including thousands of constituents in Ohio's 13th Congressional District who rely on SNAP, will still be able to put food on their tables in the event of a government shutdown."


As a  government shutdown looms, House Republicans continue to embarrass McCarthy by blocking funding bills over demands for more spending cuts that Democrats oppose.

The bill, appropriately dubbed Feed Our Families During a Shutdown Act, would prevent a potentially devastating funding cliff that will imperil the more than 40 million Americans who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Because SNAP requires an annual appropriation made by Congress, millions of Americans are made vulnerable every time that Congress cannot fulfill its most basic duty – to fund the government. During the 2018-2019 shutdown, the Trump Administration was forced to exercise budgetary workarounds to ensure that SNAP recipients had access to their benefits. In 2023, USDA has noted that it has sufficient funding to maintain SNAP benefits for the month of October 2023, but that it does not have sufficient balance in its reserve fund to maintain SNAP benefits beyond that month.

 

The legislation would appropriate three months of funding into the SNAP reserve fund. USDA would be able to carry over that funding, reducing the outlays necessary to maintain SNAP benefits in subsequent appropriations bills.

Congresswoman Brown is also a cosponsor of The Pay Our Military Act, proposed legislation that would provide appropriations for pay and support for all members of the armed forces, civilian personnel at the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, and associated contractors during a government shutdown.

Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com, the most read Black digital newspaper and Black blog in Ohio and in the Midwest. Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: editor@clevelandurbannews.com. We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.

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