What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : Famine Relief : (H.R. 2112) On an amendment that would have cut $200 million from the Food for Peace program, which provides food aid to the poor in developing countries. The amendment would have increased funding, however, for a loan program intended to spur economic development in rural areas within the United States by $100 million. (2011 house Roll Call 429)
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(H.R. 2112) On an amendment that would have cut $200 million from the Food for Peace program, which provides food aid to the poor in developing countries. The amendment would have increased funding, however, for a loan program intended to spur economic development in rural areas within the United States by $100 million.
house Roll Call 429     Jun 15, 2011
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) that would have cut $200 million from the Food for Peace program, which provides food aid to the poor in developing countries. The amendment would have increased funding, however, for a loan program intended to spur economic development in rural areas within the United States by $100 million.

Gosar urged support for his amendment: “Parts of rural America rival parts of some Third World countries where we send tens of millions of dollars. We need to focus on our own people and our own communities before we spend taxpayer money in foreign lands. One example here in the United States is the area known as the former Bennett Freeze area, an area consisting of 1.5 million acres of Navajo Nation reservation land, where the housing units have been described as `little more than hovels' and `80 percent of the homes have no electricity' and there are few paved road or communication structures. How do we justify spending $1 billion in foreign countries when we have so many unmet needs in the United States?...It is easy to understand the emotional appeal programs like Food for Peace may have, a program that would be reduced by this amendment. But ultimately, we are using taxpayer money for charity. Improving literacy, reducing hunger, and educating girls in foreign countries are issues that are, in fact, charitable and emotionally appealing, but we have our own literacy, hunger, and gender issues in our country. But at a time when we have a $14.3 trillion public debt, massive unemployment, and rural rates of poverty, illiteracy, and school underperformance, we should focus our money here at home.”

Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) opposed Gosar’s amendment: “I think the amendment is well intended. I think the author is well intended. Rural America is hurting. Rural America is really under a depression. We have not done a very good job of having a rural strategy for America….And I think this amendment addresses some of those issues… But unfortunately, that good intent is offset by the evil done in taking it out of the foreign ag account [Food for Peace program]. And I can't support the amendment for that.”

The House rejected this amendment by a vote of 139-285. Voting “yea” were 126 Republicans and 13 Democrats. 175 Democrats and 110 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have cut $200 million from the Food for Peace program—but would have increased funding for a loan program intended to spur economic development in rural areas within the United States by $100 million.

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