Monday, July 22, 2013

GOP House Passage of Farm Bill Without SNAP is Perfect Example of GOP House Favoring the Wealthy over the Poor

"But when you take food out of the mouths of babies and you prevent a bill from going forward that addresses our food banks and our nutrition needs and the rest for our country, what are you thinking?  Or are you thinking?" (Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Floor of House before vote on Farm Bill without SNAP, 07/11/2013)

Was it true the only way to pass the Farm Bill was by removing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly Food Stamps) from the bill so Republicans would pass the bill?  The answer is a resounding 'YES.'  What good is a Farm Bill without the SNAP Program?  It is hard to believe that Republicans in the House have become so cold, calculating, and callous that they refused to pass a Farm Bill with SNAP in the bill.  What kind of people are these that would take food out of the mouth of children yet make sure their wealthy farm donors and some of their members continue to get their subsidies?

As we all know this House Farm Bill is DOA in the Senate and would NEVER be signed into law by the President so why are Republicans once against wasting our tax dollars to pass a bill that is going nowhere?  Is it possible that leadership doesn't think their new base is on board with their reelection?Their new base of Tea Party (40% Mormon), social conservatives, libertarians, militia, and John Birchers don't seem to care about what happens to the GOP unless they are voting for bills to repeal like against the Affordable Care Act which they are doing again this week.  House is not passing jobs bills in deference to their new base along with many other bills.  GOP leadership of Boehner and Cantor won't even name people to negotiate with the Senate on the Budget bill of Paul Ryan's.  Are they they that afraid of being primaried that they sell out the poor, the working class, women, veterans, seniors, etc?  If they are that scared, then Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor should look for a new line of work.

A lot of the former Republican base is more then willing to help Democrats defeat Republicans in 2014 to take the House while keeping the Senate.   A big push is needed to defeat Republican state office holders and the GOP Legislatures who are passing the ALEC/Koch Agenda which is good for the wealthy and bad for the middle class and poor.  You will not find a clearer distinction between the two parties then the House Farm Bill where only Republicans voted for the stripped out SNAP version and Democrats all voted against the bill.

House Democrats who voted against this bill are now on the offensive against the 14 Republicans who opposed SNAP but voted for their own subsidies in the Farm Bill:
House Democrats are targeting Republicans who receive farm subsidies but opposed a stripped-down farm bill with no food stamp assistance. 
Fourteen GOP lawmakers have received a total of $7.2 million in farm subsidies, according to the available data since 2004, but all voted for an amendment that would have decreased the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program according to a report Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) is releasing Monday. 
“It’s outrageous that some members of Congress feel it is OK to vote for their own taxpayer subsidies but against critical nutrition assistance for 47 million Americans,” Miller said. “It’s bad enough that the House of Representatives didn’t pass a farm bill that included authorization for sorely needed nutrition programs, but to see members of Congress approving their own benefits at the expense of the working poor is a new low, even for this Congress.   
The farm bill originally included funding for SNAP, but when it failed to get enough votes in the House in June, Republicans stripped food stamp funding from the bill to gain enough GOP support for passage. In July, on a partisan vote, the farm bill passed without food stamp funding. 
Only one of the 14 members listed in the report, Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), voted against the bill when it included SNAP benefits but for it once SNAP was removed.
Excerpt:  Read more at 
Politicusas. com has more details on how the votes for the Farm Bill enrich corporate farmers along with the 14 members of Congress who get farm subsidies but voted for the Farm Bill that did not include the SNAP Program:
Don’t worry, Republicans did exactly what you imagine they would do in this instance. Now that they got rid of the hungry people, they took their new FARM Act and figured why not give most of the $196 billion to big agro business
Republicans tried to claim that the passage of the farm provisions was done to help family farms, but this Farm Bill is loaded with pork and handouts for the wealthy and corporations. Farmers with incomes over $250,000 will receive one third of the crop insurance money. This Republican House passed windfall for millionaires and corporations comes at a time when net farm income is projected to reach it highest level since 1973. 
These Republicans are:
Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL)
Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX)
Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
Rep. John Kline (R-MN)
Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)
Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA)
Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK)
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)
Rep Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)
Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD)
Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX)
Rep. David Valadao (R-CA)
Representative Miller’s office noted, “14 Republican members of Congress, who each voted for a Farm Bill that excluded a nutrition title for the first time in four decades, have received more than $7.2 million in government farm subsidies, or an average of $515,279 in handouts. At the same time, they have a combined net worth of as much as $124.5 million, according to public records. 
In stark contrast, the typical household receiving aid under the farm bill through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), has a gross monthly income of only $744, and their average monthly SNAP benefit—which every member detailed in this report voted against extending— is just $281.” 
Miller called this a new low, even for this Congress, saying in a statement, “It’s outrageous that some members of Congress feel it is ok to vote for their own taxpayer subsidies but against critical nutrition assistance for 47 million Americans. It’s bad enough that the House of Representatives didn’t pass a Farm Bill that included authorization for sorely-needed nutrition programs, but to see members of Congress approving their own benefits at the expense of the working poor is a new low, even for this Congress.” 
A new low, indeed. Welfare for the wealthy, redistribution for the elite, and nothing for the rest of the country. Republican austerity explained in action.
The House passed their modified version of the Farm Bill by a vote of 216-208.

Out of the 216 Republicans votes to pass the Farm Bill without SNAP were also four Republicans who get farm subsidies who sit on the Agriculture Committee who voted for a Farm Bill without SNAP:
Lucas, Chairman, Ag Committee (R-OK), Fincher  (R-TN), Neugebauer (R-TX) and Noem (R-SD)
To show their disdain for the bill, 0 Democrats voted for it. but the Democratic displeasure went beyond no votes with mounting a campaign to oust 14 Republicans over their vote to sever the SNAP from the bill in order to pass.  Twelve Republicans voted withe the Democrats against the revised version of the Farm Bill that left out the SNAP:
Amish (MI)
Cook (CA)
DeSantis (FL)
Duncan (TN)
Franks (AZ)
Gingrey (GA)
Huelskamp (KS)
Jones (NC)
LoBiondo (NJ)
McClintock (CA)
Salmon (AZ)
Sanford (SC)
Not Voting were six GOP and five Democrats with Republicans, Broun (GA), Campbell (CA), Hunter (CA), Rogers (MI), Schweiker (AZ), and Shimkus (IL) not voting.  

Pelosi Floor Speech Calling on House Republican Members to Oppose the Farm Bill
July 11, 2013, is a must read below:

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi took to the House floor today to call on her colleagues to oppose the House Republican Farm Bill. Below are the Leader’s remarks:

“Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding and for his tremendous leadership on behalf of feeding the American people.  It seems a very fundamental thing, biblical in nature, family-wise – a very important priority for all of us, except maybe not in this House of Representatives.    
“I want to thank Congresswoman DeLauro for her relentless, persistent advocacy to feed the hungry in our country.  But I rise today and I thank them over and over again.  I once again thank the Congressional Black Caucus.  When they came to the floor today to speak in the manner that they did against this legislation for the values of our communities, they spoke not only for the Congressional Black Caucus and for their constituents, they spoke for America.  They spoke for America.  They have fought this fight over and over again.  The inference to be drawn from their leadership on this is not that the black community is the community that benefits from food stamps, some people in the community do.   
Overwhelmingly they're people in your districts, in rural America.  They're people in rural America who really need us to pass this legislation.  You are taking food out of the mouths of your own poor constituents.

“Poverty in America, poverty.  I’m saying the word on the floor of the House: poverty, poverty, poverty, poverty.  Poverty in America seems to be a word that people get nervous about.  Poverty in America among our children is something shameful.  But it is a reality.  And it has an impact on children, to have the uncertainty in their lives that poverty brings.  And when that poverty says to those children, ‘one in four of you are going to sleep hungry tonight,’ that's just wrong.  It is wrong for America, it is not consistent with our values, it does not represent the sense of community that makes America strong and that makes America great.   
“Our democracy is as strong as we are as a people, and the middle class is the backbone of America.  The aspirations of all Americans to become part of the middle class is what we should be addressing in this Congress.  And what are we doing?  [For] 190 days we have been in this session and no jobs bill yet.  The leadership of the Republican Party says they want regular order.  They want regular order.  They passed a budget bill over three months ago.  The Senate passed a budget.  The regular order would be to go to conference, get rid of the sequester, and to proceed with a bill to invest in America – Mr. Hoyer’s ‘Make It In America,’ invest in innovation in America, build the infrastructure of America, create jobs and to do so in a way that builds community, strengthens the middle class, [and] grows our economy with jobs. 
“The distinguished leadership of this Republican Party in the House says they want regular order and they have respect for their committees.  Well, the Agriculture Committee, in a bipartisan way, in a bipartisan way, passed a bill out of committee.  I didn’t like the bill.  It wouldn’t have been a bill that I would have written, but it was – the Republicans had the leadership, Democrats cooperated, a bipartisan bill came out of committee.  The rumor was, I guess it was just a rumor, but it floated that they would respect that bill if they could come out with a bipartisan bill, it would be taken up on the floor. 
“The bill we have here, the little we know about it because it emerged in the middle of the night, bears no resemblance to the bill that came out of committee.  Actions of the Republican leadership have been disrespectful to the committee process.  Actions of the Republican leadership have been disrespectful to the committee process, so don’t hand us the regular order argument.  The audacity to split off the nutrition parts of this bill is so stunning, it would be shocking – except this is a house of shocks.  
“I would say it was one of the worst things you’ve done, but there is such stiff competition for that honor that I can’t really fully say that.  But when you take food out of the mouths of babies and you prevent a bill from going forward that addresses our food banks and our nutrition needs and the rest for our country, what are you thinking?  Or are you thinking? 
Or are you thinking?  
Read Full Speech of Minority Leader Pelosi's Floor Speech on the Farm bill that passed the Farm Bill 216 - 208 with not one Democrat voting for passage of the bill.  

1 comment:

  1. Where you made your primary error is expecting anything honorable or decent out of the Koch Machine Whores of the far right. Nothing matters but money and advancing the agenda for which they have paid. So what if the little people starve and kids go to bed with empty stomachs. It's their fault for being poor, and not part of the 0.01%. Thanks to Ayn Rand, we know that we the little people are to be squashed like bugs, humiliated, destroyed, and turned into mindless serfs for the betterment of our plutocratic over-lords. That's life in post-tea party America. God Help Us All!

    The Pink Flamingo