Saturday, June 22, 2013

How Progressives Stopped the Farm Bill

When Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) rallied its membership and asked them to take to the streets, their computers, and their telephones to oppose food stamp cuts in the farm bill, stopping the multi-year, behemoth looked bleak.
Both versions of the bill had cuts to food stamps and school lunches; the House of Representatives version, which was defeated on Thursday, had $20 billion in cuts to food stamps + increased subsidies to agribusiness, and the Senate version has $4 billion in cuts. This is immoral– feeding the military industrial complex but not the children.
PDA mobilized nationally to stop this– and it worked– for now. PDA members hand-delivered 225 letters to Congressional members (text here) and held Street Heat rallies at six offices nationwide. Above, Jim Hannley of PDA Tucson delivers a letter to Congressman Ron Barber's office. PDA members statewide delivered letters to all Arizona Congressional representatives.
For the details of the mobilization, check out this story on here.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Obama Opposes Food Stamp Cuts, Threatens Veto of Farm Bill

President Barack Obama has issued an official statement saying that he opposes the current form of HR1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 (AKA the Farm Bill).
Specifically, he opposes the deep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP– food stamps) and the spending increases in the form of subsidies. Cutting food subsidies (in the form of food stamps) to the poor while increasing subsidies to agribusiness is immoral. (You’ll remember that, in public, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is all “we gotta tighten out belts and reduce spending”, but in reality, they love spending money on pet projects– like war and corporate welfare. They passed the $640 Billion Pentagon Pork Bill last week. )
Will Obama’s statement and threatened veto give weak-kneed Blue Dog Democrats the back-up to stand up for what’s right? I hope so. (The House of Representatives is still working on this bill; there is still time to call your representative and urge him/her to preserve funding for food stamps.)
The President’s full statement is after the jump. This story was originally published on

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Street Heat: Progressives Protest Against Food Stamp Cuts Nationwide

For weeks, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) has been turning up the heat on Congressional Democrats in an effort to stop the proposed $20 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, AKA food stamps).
On Monday, June 17, PDA members nationwide protested athigh-profile Congressional officesfrom California to Florida to Illinois to Massachusetts.  (Above, PDA members-- including Advisory Board Chair Mimi Kennedy-- protest outside of Congressman Henry Waxman's office in Southern California. More photos of nationwide protest here.) 
PDA activists demonstrated at the offices of influential members of Congress, like Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Here is the list:
  • Rep Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader, CA-12: (415) 556-4862
  • Rep Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, DNC Chair, FL-23 954-437-3936
  • Rep Steny Hoyer, House Minority Whip, MD-05 (301) 474-0119
  • Rep Henry Waxman CA-33 310-652-3095
  • Rep Richard Neal, MA-05 (413) 785-0325
On Wednesday, June 19, PDA members visited the offices of more than 200 members of Congress and urged them to vote against the food stamp cuts. In Arizona,PDA activists delivered letters to the offices of Ron Barber, Ann Kirkpatrick, and Kyrsten Sinema.
View PDA's letter Congress and related links after the jump.