Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi and Baca: Democrats Unite to Restore
Food Stamp Benefits for Permanent Legal Residents

April 26, 2002

WASHINGTON - Today, House-Senate conferees agreed to adhere to Congressman Joe Baca’s (D-CA) motion to restore food stamp benefits to legal residents would be included in the final Farm Security Act. On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed, by a 244-171 vote, Congressman Baca’s motion to instruct conferees on the Farm Security Act to include restoration of food stamp benefits to permanent legal residents.

Before the vote on Tuesday, House Democratic Whip Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Congressman Baca and other Democrats held a news conference to demonstrate a unified message that they would be closely watching the conference committee to make certain the conferees restored food stamp benefits to legal residents, children, refugees and the disabled -- benefits that were eliminated under welfare reform in 1996.

“The vote on the floor this week sent a strong and powerful message to Congress that we need to treat legal residents fairly and our efforts prevailed,” said Pelosi. “Legal immigrants pay taxes, contribute to the growth of our nation and their children defend our country. We should not ignore them when they face hard times simply because they are not U.S. citizens.”

Baca, who spearheaded this effort for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, was pleased the conferees included his provision in the Conference Report.

"The conferees heeded the words of the majority of Congress and finally recognized that it would be undemocratic to not include my provision," said Congressman Baca. "We demonstrated that we can put partisanship aside and agree that there are kids starving, and that we can help.”


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