Background: House and Senate Farm Bill conferees continue to work out the differences between the two versions of the bill (H.R. 2646). In the House, Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA) introduced on April 18 a motion to instruct House Farm Bill conferees to SUPPORT the Senate's provisions to restore food stamp benefits to children, legal immigrants who work, refugees and the disabled. Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 23, the full House is scheduled to vote on Rep. Baca's motion. It is CRUCIAL that the Baca motion prevail, to send a strong message to Farm Bill conferees that they must include in the bill the broadest possible restoration of benefit eligibility for legal immigrants, including the President's proposal to restore eligibility to legal immigrants here for five years.
- Contact your Representatives TODAY and urge them to VOTE YES on the Baca motion. Also, urge them to give speeches in support of these restorations on the House floor during debate of this motion. We need as many calls as possible in to all offices, but especially the following:
TARGETS: AZ: Kolbe; CA: Horn, Issa; CT: Johnson; DE: Castle; FL: Diaz-Balart, Foley, Ros-Lehtinen; IA: Leach; IL: Kirk, La Hood, Johnson, Weiler; IN: Souder; KY: Fletcher; MD: Gilchrest, Morella; MI: Ehlers, Hoekstra, Upton; MN: Rep. Ramstad; MO: Emerson; NE: Osborne; NJ: C. Smith, LoBiondo; NM: Wilson; NY: Boehlert, Fossella, Gilman, Houghton, Kelly, King, Quinn, Sweeney, Walsh; OH: LaTourette, Regula; PA: English, Gekas, Greenwood, Pitts, Platts; TX: Bonilla, Thornberry; VA: Davis, Wolf; WI: Petri
- In addition, continue to urge House/Senate Farm Bill Conferees (see list below) to support a strong nutrition title and the broadest possible legal immigrant restorations, as in the Senate bill. Object to language in the Senate bill that would deny eligibility to anyone who had been in the country at any time without legal status for more than 12 months, regardless of their current status. Urge conferees to accept the full range of Senate immigrant eligibility restoration but to strike the prior status provision. If your Representative or Senator is not a conferee, urge him or her to weigh in with the conferees:
Conference Committee Members are: Democratic Senators Harkin (IA), Daschle (SD), Leahy (VT), and Conrad (ND); Republican Senators Lugar (IN), Helms (NC) and Cochran (MS); Republican Representatives Combest (TX), Goodlatte (VA), Boehner (OH), Pombo (CA), Everett (AL), Lucas (OK), Chambliss (GA), and Jerry Moran (KS); and Democratic Representatives Stenholm (TX), Clayton (NC), Condit (CA), Peterson (MN), Dooley (CA), and Holden (PA). House Education and the Workforce Committee Members Castle (R-DE), Osborne (R-NE) and Kildee (D-MI) will join deliberations for child nutrition provisions.
USCCB Position: The U.S. Catholic bishops have consistently supported national policy to establish food security and combat hunger; to strengthen domestic food assistance programs to ensure that no one in America goes hungry or suffers malnutrition; and to create an agricultural/food system that promotes healthy communities, and local participation, allowing Americans and farm families everywhere to thrive abundantly. See Food Policy in a Hungry World .
For more information, contact Kathy Curran at 202-541-3188, email@example.com.