With all the attention that media outlets have been giving to the IRS scandal and the subpoenaing of the Associated Press phone records one appalling move has gone unnoticed. That is Republicans have passed legislation that will starve the poor.
According to MSNBC, with the media distracted, the Republican controlled House Agriculture Committee approved a 2013 farm bill that cuts $20.5 billion to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. To Massachusetts Democratic Representative Jim McGovern it’s a poison pill.
“The $20.5 billion cut in SNAP is a poison pill,” McGovern said last Thursday during a press conference. “It means that we shouldn’t be supporting the farm bill.”
National Football League fans are well aware of what the term poison pill is. The reason is that in 2006 the Minnesota Vikings inserted a poison pill to pry away guard Steve Hutchinson from the Seattle Seahawks.
To put it simply, the term is a phrase for a provision within a legal document that forces the other party to pass on the deal.
What people don’t realize is that SNAP recipients already don’t get enough. The average benefit for a recipient is $133.42 per a month. Poverty experts and recipients say that barely covers even two weeks of food on the tightest budgets.
Being a recipient myself I can testify that is very real. At first we went to a local grocery store for our food and typically our benefits ran out in about two to three weeks since we were also receiving Women Infant and Children benefits.
Since then we have learned that shopping at a place like Sam’s Club or BJ’s Wholesale makes benefits last even longer. Even though the cost of membership is like $80 per a year, the investment is worthwhile as you save more per an item buying in bulk. However, we still typically run out of benefits in three weeks and typically run out of things like milk and eggs that have a short shelf life.
So, what does this all mean?
What it means is that the whole thing is nothing more than for show. Republicans know that the Senate, where you need a two-thirds majority to pass a bill, is controlled by Democrats. That means the bill is nothing more than Republicans trying to appease the people who elected them and a tactic to further discredit Democrats further during election time.