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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Two weeks after Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) humiliating failure to pass a farm bill through the House of Representatives, the Republican majority narrowly passed a bill on Thursday that continues agricultural programs for five years, but completely drops the question of funding food stamp and nutrition programs.

The vote — which was originally scheduled for 1:00 pm but was delayed for over four hours as Democrats forced procedural votes and Republican leadership whipped support — yielded a razor-thin 216-208 margin. Twelve Republicans voted against the measure, as well as every Democrat.

Generally, farm bills contain billions of dollars in spending on both agricultural programs and food aid, making it easy to attract bipartisan support. In June, however, the House was thrown into chaos when Republican leadership was blindsided by the farm bill’s failure. The bill, which included steep cuts to food aid programs, received just 24 Democratic votes — fewer than Speaker Boehner had expected, and too few to make up for the 62 Republicans who voted against the bill out of a belief that it didn’t cut enough. Republicans immediately attempted to blame Democrats for the bill’s defeat — although their decision to return from the floor with a bill containing no food aid at all exposes the emptiness of that excuse.

The GOP splitting agricultural subsidies from food aid is a non-starter for Democrats. The Democratic majority in the Senate is almost certain to kill any bill that does not include authorization for food stamps; even if they don’t, President Barack Obama has stated his intention to veto the GOP plan. In a statement, the White House said that the bill “fails to reauthorize nutrition programs, which benefit millions of Americans — in rural, suburban and urban areas alike,” adding that “the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a cornerstone of our nation’s food assistance safety net, and should not be left behind as the rest of the Farm Bill advances.”

For her part, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) seems exasperated with Speaker Boehner’s continued failure to move a farm bill with any chance of passing. “I would say this is the worst thing they’ve done,” Pelosi said,”but there’s such stiff competition.”

Similarly, Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) caused a stir on the House floor, when she declared, “Mitt Romney was right: You all do not care about the 47 percent…Shame on you.”

Opposition to the split bill was not limited to Democrats; in addition to the 12 Republicans who voted against the bill, several high-profile conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation denounced the bill, complaining that it still did not cut enough from the budget.

  • If republicans had their way, everyone who wasn’t a multibillionaire would be either incarcerated, dead or starving in a desert somewhere.

    • sigrid28

      Well, they do need many servants.

  • Dominick Vila

    Wow, we can’t afford to help poor Americans put food on the table, but we can afford to waste over $1T in crusades, sole source contracts, subsidies to companies that don’t need our help to profit, loopholes to millionaires, and billions of dollars to countries that either don’t need our help to enjoy a high standard of living or that hate our guts. I bet every one of these idiots aced negative logic.

    • sigrid28

      The governor of Illinois just stopped legislators pay until they deal with the pension issue in that state. He’s getting a lot of flack, but the citizens are behind him.

      • Dominick Vila

        We need more Pat Quinn’s around…

        • Elizabeth M. Lane

          just as Connie responded I am impressed that people able to earn $8412 in a few weeks on the internet. did you look at this website w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

    • tax payer

      They get food already, so what else do they want. They need to try to do something for their families and not expect you, and the tax payers to put food on their tables.

      • Dominick Vila

        The fact that a person earns a low income and needs help to support his/her family does not mean they don’t work. The point, however, is that we don’t hesitate to waste money in countries where our presence and values are rejected, and find it objectionable to spend money at home where there are millions of fellow Americans who need help.

        • tax payer

          That’s why I believe in abortion because it saves us money, if these people don’t have too many children. We only had three children and we knew that was enough for us to support, and not have to beg the tax payers to help us feed our family. Others can do the same thing, but they love sex and we pay for their consequences. Millions of Americans have to get off their butts and look for any kind of a job, so our tax money can go toward positive things in this country.

          • Dominick Vila

            The reason so many Americans struggle to find a job that pays enough to support their families is more complex and more difficult to solve than giving them contraceptives or funding abortion.
            Many are not qualified for the most lucrative vacancies our economy has to offer, some are overqualified for vacancies and managers/owners are reluctant to hire them to minimize cost and avoid disruption, some take care of elderly parents or handicapped children, the effects of outsourcing, depression, etc. The reasons are endless.
            The solution requires a review of our socio-economic system, and making adjustments, including investment in areas such as daycare, affordable assisted living facilities, retraining, and others to solve the problems we have.

  • docb

    Call out the scabs from the right on this outrageous Bill…Called ‘tarbaby’ lamborn and ‘birther’ coffman from Colorado yesterday Will get to the rest today…Then those from other States!

    Call yours: 1.866.338.1015 or 1.866.220.0044

    • sigrid28

      I hope they’ll take our calls. They could be at a caucus in the basement of the Capitol–why provide them with a beautiful setting like the floor of the House when they can meet in the basement, like Wayne and his friends. Awesome!

      • docb

        LOL. It is dark which would provide them with cover and an environment that they are accustomed to….

  • Cher

    I assume they left Michelle Bachmann’s family’s farm subsidies in place?

    • sigrid28

      You wouldn’t expect Michelle and her family to have to work the farm during the summer season, when there is the most work, would you? That’s what they hire workers to do, workers who probably get paid below minimum wage.

  • elw

    One more step made by the Republicans in their march to losing more elections.

    • midway54

      Unfortunately, given the way in which this plutocracy is increasing its strength through the successful recruitment of ignorant dupes accomplished by the media stenographers and rightwing pundits that hastens arrival of more unspeakable stooges in the House and Senate each cycle, I am not so sure that we can rely on the notion that these vermin will lose elections because of their unconscionable conduct and warped views. A huge multitude of Red State crazies out there, centered in Dupedom South, truly believe that the flag, the Cross, and patriotism are solely owned by the Republican Party and they will dependably and inevitably will vote for its candidates.

  • jointerjohn

    I would like to be there when these elitists get phone calls from their donors like the Walton family billionaire/heirs who benefit from those SNAP cards sliding thorough Walmart cash registers a few thousand times per hour. Then there is Archer Daniels Midland, Kraft Foods, Sara Lee, and all the other food producers and sellers out there. Brace yourselves for a sudden change of heart when the big boys in the food business get done with them.

    • jointerjohn

      Oh and don’t forget, those corporations who decry those evil food stamps for the poor, yet also retail sell food, all accept food stamps in their stores. Hell, SNAP is feeding many of their employees!

  • Landsende

    Once again the talipublicans show they are only concerned for the welfare of children when they are in the womb. After they’re born their concern vanishes. Once more they’re revealed as the hypocrites they are.

  • Catskinner

    What will all the liquor stores and strip clubs do now that customers won’t have food stamps to spend there anymore?

    • Allan Richardson

      Didn’t you know that SNAP money cannot be used for liquor and strip clubs? Besides, they don’t care about the guy who might put $10 or $20 of food stamp money, if he could, in the dancers’ costumes. They cater to the wealthy CEO and politicians who can put fistfuls of $100’s in there. And for Republican politicians and broadcasters, they rent paper bags at the door so they won’t be recognized!

      • Catskinner

        I know that SNAP money isn’t supposed to be used the liquor and strip clubs, but it is every day of the week. Look into the FBI investigation of 7-11 stores.

    • Sick of everything

      Tell me what state allows the use of FS in either of those places. Another uninformed Fox viewer.

      • Catskinner

        Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Maryland, and New York that we know of. But the FBI investigation of 7-11 Stores is expanding daily.

        • LotusJoan

          There is fraud in nearly every government program. According to the GAO the current Snap program has a low incident of fraud.
          The right just want to use the one woman who shows up to the welfare office in a caddy to stop assistance for the 100 that show up at the bus stop near by.

          • Catskinner

            No, this is huge, LJ. The FBI has found stores and other outlets doing this is several states, and the list keeps on growing.

          • LotusJoan

            I do not know where you are getting your information ( I cited my source). A google search of FBI and food stamp fraud did not support your claim.

            I do not doubt that there is a store or outlet in every major city that is preparded to help people defraud the Snap program. My contention bolstered by the GAO is that the incident of fraud as a per centage to total is low.

            I suspect that you are a frequent viewer of FOX.

          • Catskinner

            http://www.thefloridanewsjournal.com/2013/06/18/federal-authorities-take-down-7-11-stores-owned-pakistani-committing-id-theft-and-fraud

            This is the story I was thinking about. The report on television went on to explain how they were ripping off the SNAP program by charging over value on merchandise and giving cash back to customers.

            Just Google “SNAP fraud,” it’s everywhere.

          • LotusJoan

            While the story is about a series of 7-11’s owned primarily in Florida it does not mention SNAP benefit faud at all. There are 45.8 million people who receive SNAP benefits so your story does not support “huge” or “everywhere.

          • Catskinner

            The report on television went into depth about snap fraud, but it looks like that article dropped that part.

            I discovered you have to Google it state by state–Snap Fraud Wyoming–for instance. Below is an article on Snap Fraud Oregon.

            http://www.kgw.com/news/Oregon-investigations-uncover-food-stamp-fraud-208183851.html

    • tax payer

      They’ll drink their own booze or commit suicide.

      • Catskinner

        Could be worse…

  • Allan Richardson

    Welfare for the rich — INCLUDING members of the House who VOTE on that welfare — but nothing for the poor. Those hypocrites should cut their OWN farm subsidies and those of their BUDDIES AND DONORS before starving hard working people who do not make enough to feed their families DESPITE their hard work.

    • tax payer

      The poor are poor because they don’t work to be poor. The rich are rich because they worked to be rich. I worked, so I am not rich or poor.

      • Allan Richardson

        Millions of people work harder than you or I ever did, and STILL end up poor. Millions of people are born without the physical strength, health, or social status to be anything other than poor. Even in America, which USED TO BE the land of opportunity, statistics show that the one factor with the greatest effect on wealth is where, and in which income bracket, you were BORN. And don’t forget about middle class people who suffer bad luck: medical, natural disaster, stolen by corrupt police, stolen by corrupt bankers or investment managers, backed up by corrupt judges, etc. etc.

        So how can you state ABSOLUTELY, as a mathematical axiom, that EVERYONE willing to work WILL earn enough money not to be poor? Or are the people who work and are still poor “disposable” in your “moral” code? If you are a Christian, read Matthew 25 or the entire book of Hosea (it’s short). If Jewish, read Hosea. If other, read your faith’s scriptures in the places they talk about social justice (by the way, Muslims are supposed to tithe 1/40th of their NET WORTH, not income, annually) with an open heart. Please tell me where your moral code comes from, assuming you have one.

        • tax payer

          I am not rich and I worked at any job, so my family could eat. One thing we didn’t do is ( have too many children ) because we knew it would be hard to feed them. So others have to stop breeding them unless they can provide out of their own pockets. Don’t throw me anything about scriptures because I believe, if you work at any job you’ll succeed. No matter the pay, if they know how to Budget.

  • ralphkr

    Thank God, the saintly Republicans were able to overcome the demonic efforts of the Democrats and pass a just and sane farm bill. It just would not do to cut the subsidies for struggling multibillion dollar companies such as Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, etc. so this bill was a lifesaver for the CEO bonuses. Also, thank God, that the saintly Republicans were true to Jesus Christ’s teachings and cut off all money for the needy. ;P (that is as close as I can get to sarcasm font.)

    • dtgraham

      That’s close enough for a good laugh ralph. The sick part is, that there are enough Republican readers and contributors here who agreed with you without knowing that you’re kidding. Remember though ralph, that some of them have worked long hours trying to keep down the minimum wage, while urging American employers to know the first names of each of the millions of employees that they’ve arbitrarily fired.

      I’ll tell you, I don’t trust that McConnel. I’ve heard that he once wrestled under the name of the “Kentucky cyclone.” Now, he doesn’t seem like a brainy egghead when visiting the nation’s injured professional wrestlers, but he does satisfy that little-known constitutional requirement that even though it’s never come close to happening in over 200 years, your one gerrymandered redistricted vote could actually make a difference.

  • 1standlastword

    Modern ultra-supra-conservatives wherever you find them and whoever they are and mostly republicans and totally tea party republicans are truly…truly now the natural enemies of the poor, minorities, women, children, gays, and the elderly.