The GOP can now cross “punch a poor person” off their bucket list of asshatery when the US House passed a massive cut in food stamps on Thursday. Most used the false excuse of abuse of the system to justify taking food away from 4 million people. Some of them, claiming to be Christians, used Bible quotes as their justification. These are the same guys who never had to worry where their next meal was coming from. The GOP are so gung-ho about fraud when they can smear poor people but when their corporate buddies are robbing people blindly, the Republicans are NOWHERE to be found.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted Thursday to slash $40 billion from the federal food stamp program.
GOP lawmakers cited what they said was widespread abuse of the program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which is intended to help poor individuals and families buy groceries.
The vote to cut food stamps came on a party line vote of 217-200.
“It’s wrong for working, middle-class people to pay” for abuse of the program, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said.
Democrats cited Congressional Budget Office estimates that it would deprive 4 million needy people of SNAP benefits in 2014. The $40 billion cut — $4 billion a year over the next decade — amounts to about 5 percent of the total program cost.
According to :
“The bill would also cut off food aid after three months to recipients between the ages of 18 and 50 if they cannot find work or enroll in a job placement program. Exceptions would be granted for those with children who are still minors.”
SNAP has traditionally been part of a larger omnibus farm bill, but in July, House Republicans split food stamps from the rest of the agricultural measure.
One in seven Americans uses food stamps, according to The Associated Press. on Wednesday, it’s not clear how rampant abuse in the system is, but “the vast majority of SNAP recipients either work or are children, disabled or elderly.”
Fraud in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is next to nothing:
SNAP has a strong record of program integrity.
SNAP error rates declined by 57% since FY2000, from 8.91% in FY2000 to a record low of 3.80% in FY2011.[vi] The accuracy rate of 96.2% (FY2011) is an all-time program high and is considerably higher than other major benefit programs, for example Medicare fee-for-service (91.5%) or Medicare Advantage Part C (88.6%). [vii] Two-thirds of all SNAP payment errors are a result of caseworker error. Nearly one-fifth are underpayments, which occur when eligible participants receive less in benefits than they are eligible to receive.[viii] The national rate of food stamp trafficking declined from about 3.8 cents per dollar of benefits redeemed in 1993 to about 1.3 cent per dollar during the years 2009 to 2011.[ix] As you may have read in local news, USDA is aggressively fighting trafficking, but while there are individual cases of program abuse, for every one instance of fraud, there are hundreds of stories of heartbreaking need.
So how do Republicans typically deal with fraud found being done by their corporate friends?
Quote 3. Regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Shelby said: “Just last year, I warned that the new bureau of consumer financial protection would prove to be an unaccountable and unbridled bureaucracy. I did not expect to be proven correct so quickly …The process by which it is being imposed is potentially far more concerning …The proposed settlement would fundamentally alter the regulation of our banks. Yet this would be done without congressional involvement. Instead, it would be done by executive fiat through intimidation and threats of regulatory sanctions.”
Translation: Shelby seems to be railing against the idea of a corporate compliance agreement being used by law enforcement agencies to resolve corporate law breaking. Odd, since that’s how prosecutors typically deal with law-breaking corporations.
He couches his defense of the banks as a concern over the usurpation of congressional power, but the proposal is no such thing. Congress explicitly gave the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau jurisdiction over mortgages. This settlement is about mortgage servicing, and its compliance provisions are overseen by the bureau and the states’ attorneys general. It doesn’t “fundamentally alter the regulation of our banks” in any sense.
Not to mention that several Republicans who voted to cut food stamps get federal farm subsidies:
During the food stamp debate, GOP Rep. Stephen Fincher, who received thousands in farm subsidies, responded to a Democratic Congressman during the debate over the cuts by quoting the bible, saying “the one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
Fincher himself has received his own large share of government money. From 1999 to 2012, Stephen & Lynn Fincher Farms received $3,483,824 in agriculture subsidies. Last year he took in $70,574 alone.
Another Republican congresswoman who voted to make cuts to the food stamp program was Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri. Her farm received more than $800,000 in Department of Agriculture subsidies from 1995-20102. In 2001, her farm received $135,482 in subsidies.
Rep. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, who also voted to make cuts to the program, was a partner in Racota Valley Ranch, her family’s farm and previously had nearly a 17% stake through 2008. The farm received $3.4 million in subsidies from 1995-2012. The Environmental Working Group, which analyzes subsidy data, says the “estimated amount of subsidies attributed to Rep. Noem from 1995-2012 is $503,751.”
Rep. Marlin Stutzman, a Republican Rep. from Indiana also received his fair share of government subsidies. He personally took in nearly $200,000 for the farm he co-owns with his father.
Since the above bit mentioned Rep. Stephen Fincher using a Bible quote, let’s check out a Republican who also used the same ridiculous quote to justify taking food away from children:
Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) on Friday responded to a constituent opposed to drastically cutting food stamps for the young, elderly and poor by citing a Biblical quote: “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”
“2 Thessalonians 3:10 English Standard Version (ESV) 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat,” he wrote.
He is such a “good” Christian. If Rep. Cramer could get away from his $49 steak dinner at Charlie Palmer Steak, he could find out that a majority of food stamp recipients work so a law requiring people to work is redundant and just an excuse to punch a poor person to give their asshat fanbase a boner.
If we want to have a Bible quote debate how about this one Rep. Cramer:
Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse. – Proverbs 22:9
Looks like Rep. Cramer and the rest of the GOP assholes are going to get a curse.