Federal funding to help vulnerable Americans in danger of getting cut

Federal money for programs and services that help millions of vulnerable Americans and employ many AFSCME members could be in jeopardy next year.

AFSCME is teaming up with allies to fight drastic cuts proposed by right-wing lawmakers. More draconian proposals are likely if Donald Trump is elected president in November and his allies seize control of Congress.

House Republicans are taking aim at the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps low-income Americans feed themselves and their families. SNAP would be slashed by $30 billion over 10 years if right-wing lawmakers have their way, according to a letter from AFSCME and our allies. Many AFSCME members administer SNAP benefits.

“Strengthening SNAP and the commodity assistance programs ensures that the more than 41 million people who continue to rely on SNAP benefits every month to put food on the table — during a time of increased rent and health care costs — can access and afford the nutrition they need to thrive,” according to the letter.

“SNAP is our nation’s most impactful anti-hunger program. Congress should ensure that SNAP benefits reach all those in need, including households with children, older adults, veterans, and people with disabilities, and residents of the U.S. territories, so that all can thrive. Equally important, Congress must protect SNAP from damaging policies that would undermine its effectiveness and increase hunger and food insecurity,” the letter said.

Some of the changes Republicans are proposing for next year include:

  • A 21% administrative funding cut to the U.S. Department of Agriculture program that pays for federal workers to administer SNAP and other nutrition programs, including the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and school meals.
  • A cut to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
  • Pushing through an extreme “SNAP Choice” pilot program, which would limit food choices for people on SNAP. SNAP recipients already have limited choices as many of them live in food deserts.

Right-wing extremists in the House of Representatives are also pushing a 2025 spending plan that proposes to “slash billions of dollars from health care and social programs and cut funding for agencies responsible for enforcing worker protection laws,” according to Bloomberg Law.  

As it is, right-wing obstructionism is making it hard for pro-worker lawmakers to secure adequate funding for a number of key programs in the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. That list includes public transportation, roads and bridges, clean water, public health departments, public schools, workforce training, worker safety,  child care, Head Start, public safety and more.

Things are likely to get much worse unless we fight back and make sure we elect pro-worker lawmakers to Congress this November.