Congress Ethics Food

Most Awful Farm Bill Ever Moving Forward

On Wednesday of this week House Republicans will vote on the misleadingly-named Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act, which gives you the opportunity to be kicked off food stamps if you can’t find a job in three months.

From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

The proposal incorporates all of the SNAP cuts and other nutrition provisions of the farm bill that House leaders sought unsuccessfully to pass in June, which would cut $20.5 billion from SNAP over ten years. It also adds new provisions designed to cut at least another $20 billion in benefits, primarily by eliminating states’ ability to secure waivers for high-unemployment areas from SNAP’s austere rule that limits benefits for jobless adults without children to just three months out of every three years.

The new House proposal is harsh. It would deny SNAP to at least 4 million to 6 million low-income people — including some of the nation’s most destitute adults — as well as to many low-income children, seniors, and families that work for low wages

Here’s more. And this part really ticks me off.

The House leadership proposal would allow states to cut off SNAP benefits to most adults who are receiving or applying for SNAP, including parents with children as young as 1 year old, if they are not working or participating in a work or training program for at least 20 hours a week. This provision, based on an amendment to the original House farm bill offered by Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL), authorizes states to cut off an entire family’s food assistance benefits, including their children’s — and for an unlimited time — if the parents do not find a job or job training slot.

The provision gives states a strong financial incentive to take up this option. First, they could keep half of the federal savings from cutting people off SNAP and use the funds for any purpose, including tax cuts and special-interest subsidies or plugging holes in state budgets. Second, states that decline the option and maintain their current approach to SNAP work requirements and job training would face a significant fiscal penalty. States that do not elect the option would lose all federal matching funds for their SNAP employment and job training programs (which all states now operate).

The bill does not simply eliminate provisions that grant states the ability to cope with persistent high unemployment, it actively encourages them not to. It gives states financial incentives to NOT feed people, including adults with infant children.

I really don’t know how to describe this other than to say it’s a giant Fuck You to poor people. Because the money that’s currently being used to feed some of them would alternatively be used to fund tax breaks for the rich under the House Republican bill.

In a sense, this bill doesn’t actually end any amount of welfare, it simply shifts the money from one form of welfare to another, where money allocated for the SNAP program will be redirected to fund corporate welfare instead.

With any luck the bill won’t pass the House just as it failed to pass in June. This bill is an abomination that is so horrible I can’t see how it could possibly be reconciled in a conference committee.

House leadership should be personally forced to ring bells outside grocery stores this Winter.

  • DetroitSam

    The nutbaggers like to believe that minorities are the only ones on the SNAP program. Somehow they can’t see the food stamps that they receive as being “food stamps”. What else can be expected from people incapable of logical thinking?
    Wonder what they will do when they finally realize that they also benefit from food sytamps?

    • Victor_the_Crab

      Still blame minorities for 100% of the problem.

  • mrbrink

    Thing is, too, 1-5 people in this country aren’t making enough money to buy enough food to eat. Free markets! Food banks, pantries, churches, and charities are all struggling and overwhelmed as it is. Volunteerism is suffering because people have to work longer and harder to make ends meet, even when they never really do. We waste 40% of our food as it is. There are so many problems with this. Morally, economically, constitutionally. Ronald Reagan should have said Republicans are from the government and they’re here to empty your stomachs.

    Hungry, out of work, low wage working American: You’re trying to fucking starve me, motherfucker!

    GOP/Horrible Bosses: Starve? No! Motivate. Motivate! We just want you to work for your food rations. Teach you a lesson in free market solutions and the proper role of government.

    When we resort to cannibalism, I’m eating these motherfuckers first.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      They first need to be boiled long to remove all their toxic impurities and then brined and smoked and based over a slow heat before I might consider taking a bite out of them.

  • drspittle

    The Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act? Really? What an Orwellian exercise in Randian rodent procreation.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Marie Antoinette said “Let them eat cake” when telling her opinion about the French peasants, and was later beheaded on the guillotine during the French Revolution. These fucking Republican sociopaths make Marie Antoinette look sympathetic to the plight of the poor by comparison.

  • Steven

    I find it interesting to see how many self-proclaimed Christians are now eager participants in the War on the Poor. I know quite a few who passionately feel that raising the minimum wage only hurts the poor, because it supposedly prevents those lacking job skills from finding entry-level positions. They truly feel this way. It’s as if Jesus never said a word about the poor.

    I think you can be a devout Christian, and I think you can be a strong right-wing Republican. But you cannot be both.

  • trgahan

    “Second, states that decline the option and maintain their current approach to SNAP work requirements and job training would face a significant fiscal penalty. States that do not elect the option would lose all federal matching funds for their SNAP employment and job training programs (which all states now operate).”

    Well, that’s no very States Rights now is it? Seem more like GOP representatives are demanding all states further decimate their social safety net or else! Which is what these dickheads need or their own states will be economically fucked as people flee to neighboring states willing to use the public coffer to try to maintain or even grow the overall standard of living.

    As old school hard core leftist would point out “Hungry people don’t stay hungry for long!”

    • Kitty Smith

      “States Rights” only means “the State’s Right to do whatever I want them to”.

      But then, I hate “States Rights” anyways, so that’s not really my concern.

    • stacib23

      Which is what these dickheads need or their own states will be economically fucked as people flee to neighboring states willing to use the public coffer to try to maintain or even grow the overall standard of living.

      If they come from a red state to a blue state, can we treat them like they treat “illegal aliens”?

  • Schneibster

    It’s not gonna pass, and if it did it’s veto-bait.

  • IrishGrrrl

    It’s stealing from the poor to give to the rich. I’m sure they’ll be all over it here in AZ.

  • Zen Diesel

    What a bunch of arrogant inconsiderate pricks they are. We can’t cut defense, or fix healthcare, or heaven’s forbid give big agriculture a little less welfare. These ass clowns must take from those who can least afford having less. This isn’t very Jesus like from the party claims that great sky wizard only talks to them.

    • Schneibster

      Yeah, their imaginary sky friend who’s supposed to be about love wants them to starve people to death.

      Nobody but an idiot would believe that shit.

      • Zen Diesel

        I would like to hear one of the conservative sheeple to honestly explain to me how this bill would be a good thing for “Murika”, because from my perspective, the SNAP program is a circular program. It’s not as if SNAP recipients will hoard the money and not spend it. They will spend the assistance, stores profit from the assistance being spent, and taxes will go back into the federal coffers. Hungry people don’t starve, the economy prospers, and the government get revenue. Am I missing something?

        • Schneibster

          It’ll reduce the deficit and make Murca strong. /destroyative

          ETA: Good Bog, you’re not going to use real economics and actual numbers on them, are you? What would Hayek say?

          • Zen Diesel

            Somehow, the Repubiicans would find a way to make it a negative thing.

          • Schneibster

            Well, for now they’re just blocking it, along with anything else they can to prove how impotent, errr important, their racist temper tantrum is. Those mean Demorats better never ever ever ever elect one of those people again. If we do we better watch out, they’ll hold their breath. We were really mean so it’s OK to destroy the whole world’s economy to punish us for pointing out how racist they are. If we weren’t so mean we wouldn’t keep telling them they’re racists all the time.

            ETA, oh bother, my tantrum icon won’t post. C’est la vie.

  • Mike_Norris

    Do these low life motherfuckers have any shame at all?

  • Felonious Grammar

    So, they’re trying to take food out of the mouths of children to push more of the money that the working and middle classes made uphill for their wealthy benefactors. Shameless.

  • nicole

    Thanks, Ashby……..really good piece. [ I may or may not have told you this, but when I stopped blogging it was primarily because I couldn’t any longer tolerate the day-to-day stress of dealing with stuff like this. I hope you’re doing okay.]

    That said, FUCK YOU, Republicans. HARD. If I could make it so, you would ALL be poor and hungry for a very long time, because you have apparently never learned the meaning of COMPASSION.

    I hope that this thing either doesn’t pass or that Obama refuses to sign it. These authoritarian thugs/shills for the rich are shameless!

    • Christopher Foxx

      I hope that this thing either doesn’t pass or that Obama refuses to sign it.

      If Obama were to sign this, it would be a very dark, disappointing day.

    • Mike_Norris

      I really love you Nicole :) And I find that I have to take sanity breaks from dealing with this shit myself. I do hope you are felling better. Now rage on!!

      • nicole

        thanks, Mike–love you too!

        im feeling better, but I avoid reading the stuff all day long……..which I couldn’t do when I was blogging it.

    • JMAshby

      I’m fine. The self-congratulating, self-righteous, sanctimonious, ignorant Far Left is far more irritating than the Flying Monkey Caucus. The latter at least has some comedic value from time to time.

      • nicole

        Well, they’re both crazy, but the right concerns me a lot more than the left. Dealing with this stuff day in and day out is enough to make a person sick.

        Really glad you’re doing okay, Ashby!

  • Kitty Smith

    So basically this bill is intended to ENCOURAGE states to cut taxes and give money wealthy special interests at the expense of the needy and hungry.

    Please, someone kindly explain to me why there is so much as one Republican that deserves to keep breathing?

    • nicole

      There isn’t even one.

      • Mike_Norris

        Not even one…

    • Christopher Foxx

      And someone explain to me why the Democratic party isn’t organized enough to point out exactly how horrendous this is, in terms as simple as Kitty used? It’s almost like they don’t want to win elections.

      • Schneibster

        I remember a town hall meeting about ACA where the Libertarians, when asked what a young person who developed a disease and couldn’t afford coverage should do, said “Let him die.” On national television.

        These people are too stupid to be capable of feeling shame. They might even been too stupid to feel pain. They certainly have zero imagination, and very little compassion, as well as very little capability for empathy or sympathy.

        In short they’re sociopaths.

        • Christopher Foxx

          In short they’re sociopaths.

          I used to think that unthinking, ignorant and selfish were more accurate. That in topics like the ACA or food stamps or abortion or…. that they they just hadn’t thought through what they were advocating for, didn’t understand what the ACA (or whatever program) actually does, and/or were simply being selfish.

          But I’ve seen too many people, when presented with a clear situation where considered thought and understanding of some legislative details were not necessary, where the right answer is really a no brainer that any 5 year old would know, argue that someone in need should just suffer.

          Sociopaths is exactly the word for them.

      • Vic78

        “It’s almost like they don’t want to win elections.” I’ve been thinking that for a while. It’s either that or they’re incompetent. I remember a freshman senator beating the crap out of a veteran campaign in 2008. We shouldn’t be surprised that they fuck up this much.

        • Christopher Foxx

          I’m not surprised that they fuck up this much at all. When something happens consistently over time, you have to expect it’s going to continue to happen.

  • formerlywhatithink

    Heartless assholes. That’s all they are. They only sliver of enjoyment I tend to see in all this is that the asshats who voted these cretins into office are usually the idiots who will be most affected by these draconian measures. How fucking masochistic, stupid and short sighted do you have to be to vote people into office who will harm you? And once they do start feeling the hurt, they will blame Democrats. Morons.