Illinois lawmakers are leading a fight to protect the food stamp program known as "SNAP," as the Trump Administration proposes massive cuts.
"President Trump wants to cut SNAP funding by $181 billion over the next decade," said U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi. "He will strip three million families of benefits, including 100,000 families here in Illinois."
Rep. Krishnamoorthi revealed that as a child, after he and his family emigrated to the U.S. from India, his parents relied on food stamps.
"When I was a child, food stamps helped my parents work their way out of a difficult time," he told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday. "Today my father is an engineering professor at Bradley University, where he's now teaching for 40 years. My brother is a doctor, and I'm a U.S. Congressman. That was our American dream."
Krishnamoorthi says now, that dream is under attack. "'SNAP', our nation's most important hunger program, is under attack from the White House," he said. "Donald Trump would kick a million kids off the free school lunch program. This is completely unacceptable. We have a message for Donald Trump: 'Hands off SNAP!'"
The Trump administration is changing the program's eligibility rules, arguing that strong economy means recipients can find work instead of relying on taxpayers for assistance.
Krishnamoorthi adds that "everybody falls down once in a while and it's up to us as a society to pick them up and get them going again. There are countless stories of people who've done exactly that and gone on to do great things for America."