The only way House Republicans could get the Farm Bill passed was to not just cut food aid for the poor, but to starve them.
The House passed their modified version of the Farm Bill by a vote of 216-208. To show their disdain for the bill, 0 Democrats voted for it. but the Democratic displeasure went beyond no votes.
Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi blasted her Republican colleagues on the House 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?”
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) said, “You have removed food stamps … from this legislation. I don’t know where it is going to go. It looks like it is going to die a slow death. It is despicable. What is it about poor people that you don’t like?”
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.
The only way that John Boehner and Eric Cantor could get this bill passed was to make it even more right wing than the bill that failed the first time. It is beyond comprehension how House Republicans can pat themselves on the back while knowing that they voted for a bill that contains no nutritional funding for seniors, the disabled, and children.
House Republicans aren’t starving able bodied poor people. Forty five percent of food stamp recipients are children. Twenty percent of recipients are disabled, and 8.5% are elderly. These aren’t healthy working age adults mooching off the system. They are the most vulnerable members of our society.
This isn’t a matter of fiscal conservatism. If it was, this bill wouldn’t have been loaded with special interest pork. The Republican attempts to gut the food stamp program are designed to redistribute wealth upwards. They have decided to take resources from children who need food, and redistribute them to millionaires and corporations.
The House Republicans’ redistribution of wealth to the wealthy will continue until Democrats are returned to the majority. If you still have the strength after enduring John Boehner’s starvation diet, be sure to vote in 2014.
Your vote is the key to making this insanity stop.