Heartless House GOP Votes Cuts $39B In Food Stamps
Matt | On 23, Sep 2013
Listen. No matter what time of year I take time away from this website, there is always some nonsense going on in our government.
One of the latest WTF moments came from the U.S House of Representatives late last week. In a nearly unanimous move, House Republicans voted to slash $39 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) over the next 10 years (or about $4 billion a year). House Republicans split the farm bill into two separate sections — farm and nutrition — back in July. Under the planned SNAP cuts, nearly four million Americans would lose their benefits. This is unacceptable.
The food stamp program costs about $80 billion a year now. With the proposed GOP cuts, the program would still cost over $750 billion over 10 years.
Every vote for the food stamp cuts came from 217 House GOP members. Fifteen additional Republicans sided with a group of 195 unanimous Democrats in opposing the bill. Six members did not vote.
Republicans defended the plan saying they wanted to make those receiving benefits accountable for the assistance by adding work requirements and tightening access. According to The New York Times, an adult between the ages of 18-50 without minor children would need to either find employment or enroll in a job training program in order to get SNAP benefits. They would also only have three months to receive benefits.
Some Americans have been in an uproar about the cuts. If you look at the headlines only, yeah, they are enough to piss off anyone. But, this House bill has no chance in hell of passing the Senate. President Obama has already said he would veto any measure with these cuts that made it to his desk.
But, there is a problem.
The Senate passed a farm bill in July with only $4 billion in cuts to food stamps. The Senate version would need to be combined with the House’s and voted on and sent to Obama to become law. It doesn’t look like the two versions, that are drastically different, will be voted on as one unit.
In short, there will be no farm bill after it expires on September 30.
For the life of me, I don’t understand how cutting nearly $4 billion from a program for the poor and needy helps the American people. Just this month, many Republicans were ready to head straight into Syria for costly “military strikes.” Many of them approve pork projects in their own districts and tax cuts for the rich. If fiscal conservatism is truly their platform, we shouldn’t see any discrimination between cutting funds from all projects to save money. But, their corporate, war-mongering, and lobbying interests would not be pleased.
So, as usual, the American people suffer.