Saturday, 11 January 2014 15:37

On 50th anniversary of 'War on Poverty' speech, Worcester Rep. Jim McGovern says cuts to SNAP are 'war on poor people'

Written by  Sam Bonacci | MassLive
Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., talks about efforts to preserve documents belonging to Ernest Hemingway that have been housed for decades at the author's former estate in Cuba, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, May 6, 2013. Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., talks about efforts to preserve documents belonging to Ernest Hemingway that have been housed for decades at the author's former estate in Cuba, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, May 6, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern says the "War on Poverty" has shifted from helping the poor to fighting them.

McGovern, a Democrat who represents the 2nd district, spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday about hunger in America and potential cuts to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) in the proposed Farm Bill.

The Worcester representative spoke on the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's state of the union speech that addressed education and health care as poverty reduction strategies. The speech is referred to as the "War on Poverty" at time when the poverty rate was 19 percent.

According to the most recent U.S. Census numbers, 15 percent of Americans, 46.5 million, live in poverty.

"Despite the many successes, and there have been a number of successes over the past 50 years, there are those in this country and this House who would destroy the programs that help people in need," said McGovern. "Those who have replaced the 'War on Poverty' with a new war on poor people."

The House may vote on a Farm Bill conference report as early as next week. On the line is $8 billion in cuts to SNAP, said McGovern. Additionally, there will be changes to federal program that helps Americans pay their energy bills.

McGovern said this "loophole" would reduce an already meager benefit program and disproportionately affect seniors and the disabled.

Three million families would see a reduction $90 a month, on average.

This kind of reductions would be one thing if the funds went back into SNAP, but they do not, said McGovern. Instead those cuts would help to continue subsidies in the Farm Bill.

"Why on earth would we pass a farm bill that makes the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. We must and can do better," said McGovern. "It is a scandal that in the richest country in the world we have a hunger problem."

He added, "I will oppose any Farm Bill in America that makes hunger worse."

Link to original article from

Read 2308 times Last modified on Saturday, 11 January 2014 15:43

Related items

Trans Pacific Partnership Fast Track - Where Does Your Legislator Stand

Click your state to see your Senators and Representatives

Green = Most Legislators Oppose Fast Track, Yellow = Some Opposition, Orange = Oppose TPP, Gray = Unknown
DeLauro 13 - Signed 2013 DeLauro/Miller letter
Pocan - Signed Freshman Letter Opposing Fast Track
W/M - Signed Ways and Means Letter opposing TPP
Gibson - Signed Rep. Chris Gibson letter opposing TPP
SOPA - Oppose Stop Online Piracy Act - voted against
Currency - Oppose Currency Manipulation (Signed Michaud Letter)
Textile - Oppose changes to "First Yarn" (Signed Textile Industry Letter)

PDA In Your State

Join "Countdown to Coverage" Share TPP with your Daily Newspaper

CWA devised a simple plan for which they were uniquely suited: drag TPP out of the shadows and into the light - one city at a time - using a medium they understand intimately: Daily Newspapers!

Two CWA members - Dave Felice in Denver, CO and Madelyn Elder in Portland, OR have started the ball rolling. We just need to keep up the momentum leading up to a big day of petition deliveries in January.


Step 1 is to send an Op-Ed to your Daily Newspaper.

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016


Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Pulic Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab


Hand Deliver a Letter to your Senators or Representative on the TPP

If your Senator(s) and/or Representative is not currently opposed to Fast Track, they may not completely understand all the implications. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request. Phone calls and emails are incredibly important but nothing gets attention like a personal visit. Our Educate Congress page has information and a sample letter. Print the letter, sign it, deliver it.


Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of