Capital Hill is looking out for Americans by taking away the very substance in which people survive, that being food. This scenario is a bit reminiscent of the novel Hunger Games.
Today, the House votes to cut nearly $4 billion a year from the Food Stamp Program. This is a 5 percent cut to the nation’s program that feeds the hungry. One in seven Americans depend on the Food Stamp program to provide family sustenance.
The vote came down to a 271-210 vote and was a win for the Republicans. GOP moderates and Democrats alike say the cut was too high along with 15 Republicans also voting against the measure.
The money that will be saved would go into making food stamp recipients go through broader work requirements and drug testing in order to become eligible for food stamps. In saving more money, food stamp waivers will no longer be allowed to those “able-bodied adults with children who have been on the program indefinitely.”
Led by Conservative Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), he states 47 million Americans are currently on the food stamps program. The cost has doubled over the last five years because of the recession along with all the monetary hurdles the US is dealing with on a national basis.
On the other side, Democrats say that when the need for food stamps increase, this shows that the program is doing what it is there for. The purpose of food stamps is to to provide food to the hungry, not take it away because of mistakes in the government’s fiscal budget.
Compromise on this issue of scaling back the feeding program has been difficult. Republicans want larger cuts to balance a budget that was once balanced during the Clinton presidency. The Democrats oppose all cuts while some Republicans whose States incur high food stamp usage are wary of the slim-down efforts being proposed.
On top of this rebuttal between Republicans and Democrats, the White House has threatened to veto the bill.
To strengthen their position, Republicans argue that the bill targets adults without dependents. The bill’s requirements are similar to the 1996 Welfare law which declined people in receiving assistance.
The intention of the bill is to give aid to those who need it. Get a job if you can. Most people don’t want to be on the system says Eric Cantor, Majority Leader.
It seems, in today’s economy, that more Americans are being forced onto the federal systems in order to survive. All at a time where government spending is at its highest, more money is being printed every day, money the government does not have.
The new work requirements set in this bill will require 20-hours of work per week for an adult with a child, but only if daycare is available for the child. The same rule applies to all parents with children over the age of 6. Those persons without children are removed from the Food Stamp Program, making the Federal Welfare statistics look sunnier than they actually are.
The Food Stamp Program working together with the House of Agriculture approved a combined bill earlier this year, but in June squashed it. Conservatives revolted say the $2 billion annual cut in food stamps was not enough. After the defeat, the bill between the Food Stamp Program and Farm Programs was split and in July a new bill was passed that included only farm programs.
Now that the bills are going to the Senate, both the farm and food bills must be presented together. Republicans who initially split the bill may try to oppose the effort.
Negotiations will not be an easy task once the food stamp bill is introduced into the Senate. The farm bill that passed in July saved $400 million in cuts, which is only 10 percent of the cuts needed for the Food Stamp program.
On Thursday every Democrat opposed the bill. Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) stated the bill is an outright assault on health and the economic security for millions of American families. However, for the Lone Star State, Republican Lloyd Dogget ‘s comment to Pelosi was “let them starve.” The food stamp system is rife with waste and abuse. This Texas Republican obviously has his hands safely on American’s back.
The House Republicans are attempting to take the food out of the mouths of hard-working Americans based all on their illusional goal of governmental power.
In 2014, the Budget Office states, if the bill passes, 3.8 million American will lose benefits. Out of the 3.8 million Americans, 1.7 million of them will fall under the bill’s work requirement restrictions. The remaining 2.1 million people will be on their own in attempts to find sustenance for their families.
There are 46.5 million people in the United States alone who live in poverty. This is 15 percent of the country’s population. Currently, Oregon holds the highest food stamp ratio at 20.1% and would be the State that gets hit the hardest if the passing of this bill comes to fruition.
Opponents of the bill like Tom Colicchio, who hosts Top Chef, along with other soup-kitchen leaders attacked the bill claiming it to be heartless.
The government can spend trillions of dollars to send people into the uncharted territories of space, but then snatches food from the mouths of the Nation’s poor.
What the government is telling Americans in the bill that is being passed, if you don’t get a good paying job, as it is in the Hunger Games, or your family will go hungry.
Written by Lisa Graziano