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 House Republicans Pass Deep Cuts in Food Stamps

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Pippin

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PostSubject: House Republicans Pass Deep Cuts in Food Stamps   Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:52 pm

I wasn't sure if this should go in Breaking News or the Food section of Culture and Society.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/us/politics/house-passes-bill-cutting-40-billion-from-food-stamps.html?_r=0

House Republicans Pass Deep Cuts in Food Stamps
By Ron Nixon, NY Times


WASHINGTON — House Republicans narrowly pushed through a bill on Thursday that slashes billions of dollars from the food stamp program, over the objections of Democrats and a veto threat from President Obama.

The vote set up what promised to be a major clash with the Senate and dashed hopes for passage this year of a new five-year farm bill.

The vote was 217 to 210, largely along party lines.

Republican leaders, under pressure from Tea Party-backed conservatives, said the bill was needed because the food stamp program, which costs nearly $80 billion a year, had grown out of control. They said the program had expanded even as jobless rates had declined with the easing recession.

“This bill eliminates loopholes, ensures work requirements, and puts us on a fiscally responsible path,” said Representative Marlin Stutzman, Republican of Indiana, who led efforts to split the food stamps program from the overall farm bill. “In the real world, we measure success by results. It’s time for Washington to measure success by how many families are lifted out of poverty and helped back on their feet, not by how much Washington bureaucrats spend year after year.”

But even with the cuts, the food stamp program would cost more than $700 billion over the next 10 years.

Republicans invoked former President Bill Clinton in their defense of the bill, saying that the changes were in the spirit of those that he signed into law in 1996 that set work requirements for those who receive welfare.

But Democrats, many of whom held up pictures of people they said would lose their benefits, called the cuts draconian and said they would plunge millions into poverty.

“It’s a sad day in the people’s House when the leadership brings to the floor one of the most heartless bills I have ever seen,” said Representative James McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts. “It’s terrible policy trapped in a terrible process.”

The measure has little chance of advancing in the Senate, and Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan and the chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, called it “a monumental waste of time.”

The bill, written under the direction of the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, Republican of Virginia, would cut $40 billion from the food stamp program over the next 10 years. It would also require adults between 18 and 50 without minor children to find a job or to enroll in a work-training program in order to receive benefits.

It would also limit the time those recipients could get benefits to three months. Currently, states can extend food stamp benefits past three months for able-bodied people who are working or preparing for work as part of a job-training program.

“This bill makes getting Americans back to work a priority again for our nation’s welfare programs,” House Speaker John A. Boehner said.

The bill would also restrict people enrolled in other social welfare programs from automatically becoming eligible for food stamps.

In addition, the legislation would allow states to require food stamp recipients to be tested for drugs and to stop lottery winners from getting benefits. The Senate farm bill also contains a restriction on lottery winners.

Critics of the measure said the cuts would fall disproportionately on children.

“Yes, the federal government has budget problems, but children didn’t cause them, and cutting anti-hunger investments is the wrong way to solve them,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus Campaign for Children, a child advocacy group.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, nearly four million people would be removed from the food stamp program under the House bill starting next year. The budget office said after that, about three million a year would be cut off from the program.

The budget office said that, left unchanged, the number of food stamp recipients would decline by about 14 million people — or 30 percent — over the next 10 years as the economy improves. A Census Bureau report released on Tuesday found that the program had kept about four million people above the poverty level and had prevented millions more from sinking further into poverty. The census data also showed nearly 47 million people living in poverty — close to the highest level in two decades.

Historically, the food stamp program has been part of the farm bill, a huge piece of legislation that had routinely been passed every five years, authorizing financing for the nation’s farm and nutrition programs. But in July, House leaders split the bill’s farm and nutrition sections into separate measures, passing the farm legislation over Democrats’ objections.

The move came after the House rejected a proposed farm bill that would have cut $20 billion from the food stamp program. Conservative lawmakers helped kill the bill, saying the program needed deeper cuts.
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PostSubject: Re: House Republicans Pass Deep Cuts in Food Stamps   Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:54 pm

I really hope that these cuts, if they don't get vetoed or somehow overturned, are not an across-the-board cut. As it is, my unemployed butt gets $27 a month for food, while I have heard of people who get $200 a month. Of course, those people have someone to support besides themselves.
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PostSubject: Re: House Republicans Pass Deep Cuts in Food Stamps   Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:52 pm

I don't even know where to begin... fuck anybody who thinks punishing struggling Americans is a good idea. These fuckers need to take advantages away from folks who are in the top percentile rather than trying their hardest to fuck over people who are struggling to pay their bills as it is.

Not even my country, but this kind of shit is universal. They need to get money out of politics immediately, then shit like this won't be an issue.

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PostSubject: Re: House Republicans Pass Deep Cuts in Food Stamps   Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:20 pm

I think it's interesting that one of the ideas brought up was to require people who get food stamps to have a job. Most people that I know that get food stamps are actively trying to get work but only need to food stamps because they haven't been hired yet. Suggesting that food stamps be denied to people that don't have a job is like saying you can only get them if you probably don't need them.
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PostSubject: Re: House Republicans Pass Deep Cuts in Food Stamps   Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:01 pm

I think people are concerned that offering food stamps would give people an incentive not to work. However saying that people would rather live on 27 dollars (or whatever they get) worth of food a month rather than getting a job is kind of retarded. Then again, raise the minimum wage (hint hint, nudge nudge) and you'll eliminate that temptation all together.

Fucking morons.

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PostSubject: Re: House Republicans Pass Deep Cuts in Food Stamps   Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:34 pm

Yep, my food stamps have been reduced. At least the change won't take effect until next month, so I can have hope that I'll have a job by then and won't need help with food anyway.

Assholes!
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PostSubject: Re: House Republicans Pass Deep Cuts in Food Stamps   Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:22 pm

Remember what Jesus said: "Take food out of the mouths of those who need it. Because, seriously, fuck the poor."

Paraphrasing, of course.

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