The bill that will hurt hungry Americans
February 6th, 2014
12:05 AM ET
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Editor's note: John Stoehr is managing editor of the Washington Spectator, an independent political periodical published monthly by The Public Concern Foundation.

House Republicans pushed through a trillion-dollar farm bill - approved by the Senate Tuesday - that will cut food stamps by $8 billion over the next decade and reduce food allotments for more than 850,000 households by around $90 a month.

The measure passed despite opposition from Tea Party Republicans who were seeking even more savage cuts. If the Republican Party hopes to revive the Bush-era idea of "compassionate conservatism," this isn't the way to do it.

The bill was the culmination of a three-year battle over food stamps, also called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. House Democrats who supported the measure said they compromised. This version, they said, was better than previous ones; Tea Party Republicans had wanted a 5% cut, not 1%. The White House has signaled that President Obama will sign the bill.

He shouldn't, but this is a pragmatic president. So he probably will.

That the legislation slashes aid to hungry children might be justifiable if it didn't also hand out $90 billion over 10 years - $7 billion more than before - in subsidized crop insurance to farmers, which virtually guarantees revenue. The agribusiness lobby, which includes large farming concerns as well as publicly traded corporations like Monsanto and Kroger, spent $111 million pressing lawmakers, according to Bloomberg. That's more than the defense and union lobbies combined. Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat who voted against the measure, called it "nothing more than reverse Robin Hood legislation that steals food from the poor in favor of crop subsidies for the rich."

Read - Farm bill hurts hungry Americans

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soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Non Lib Fool

    They are talking 1 percent cut on a monthly snap entitlement....not 90 each.

    February 9, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
  2. Captain

    Meanwhile, US Congress is raising Free US Foreign Aid to countries – Israel now gets $18.5 Million per DAY in US Aid – more than four times per person more than any other country. God knows how many times more than any American on Food Stamps (SNAP). Speak up America.

    February 9, 2014 at 1:12 am |
  3. Ruth

    Well I have seen and witnessed the selling of snap cards to buy cigarettes and food.....then they go to the family mission for food bags,stand in line for fresh fruits and vegetables,while their kids are wearing the latest tennis shoes that cost $200.00 Quit blaming the politicians for giving them money for food ,blame the people for not spending the money given to them for food.No incentive to work,this is the 3rd generation on welfare.....their are women with 6,7,8, and even 9 children ,no fathers, and they know to get more money have more ,white no difference do you want to talk.....sorry,no sympathy here

    February 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
    • Mrs Homemaker

      I used to work as a cashier at a grocery store. I learned to recognize a food stamp transaction from a mile away; It was always the same: frozen pizza, TV dinners, "bug juice" (sugar water with artificial flavoring and coloring), and soft drinks. Oh,forgot supersize bags of chips. Never anything that even smelled of fruit or vegetable. After that, the cash side of the order; beer and diapers. Of course, they were on the phone during the whole transaction talking to phones far nicer than I could ever afford.

      February 8, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
  4. Flaming Liberal

    Flaming Liberal
    "...revive the Bush-era idea of 'compassionate conservatism,' "
    W The F?!? The only compassion wielded during the Bush-era was feeling sorry for the party's lack of choices for President.

    /end politicizing a food blog/

    February 6, 2014 at 9:08 am |
    • Keith B. Rosenberg

      I could be a lot more compassionate if I could use other people's money too.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:55 pm |
  5. Truthâ„¢

    So once again, we have the best government money can buy.

    Politically, I stand slightly to the right of Genghis Kahn, but even I will state unequivocally that this is not the correct way to address our issues.

    February 6, 2014 at 8:55 am |
    • Weeds

      compassionate conservatism translates in to common speak as entitlements and tax cuts for the rich.

      February 6, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
      • Weeds

        meant ot put this in another persons reply, sorry

        February 6, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
    • Weeds

      I'll stand on the side of Genghis Kahn that doesn't have the pointy end, right or left. In as much as this nation has disassembled its physcological health care system over the last 30 or so years, it has also forgotten its war on poverty. It's time to take away the over spending on the war against drugs, which is doing nothing to reach its goal, and apply at least half of it towards reducing poverty and starvation in the USA. This could be from a variety of programs but the first thing that should be addressed is the fact that 48% of the children in the US may not eat in the next 24 hours – many often get their only meal in school. Children are the future and if this is how our nations treats the future, we are hosed.

      February 6, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
  6. Flaming Liberal

    "...revive the Bush-era idea of 'compassionate conservatism,' "
    WTF?!? The only compassion wielded during the Bush-era was feeling sorry for the party's lack of choices for President.

    /end politicizing a food blog/

    February 6, 2014 at 8:08 am |
  7. Jerv


    February 6, 2014 at 7:53 am |
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