House Cuts $40 Billion in Food Stamps

Photo from lynnfriedman

Look around you, wherever you happen to be. In the office, on the bus home from work, at the post office, in the coffee shop, maybe waiting in line at the grocery store. Now, count off the number of people around you. One, two, three, four, five, six. Stop when you hit seven.

The House GOP wants that person to go hungry.

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You may think that reasoning is a bit dramatic, but it's not far from the truth. According to the latest stats, one in seven Americans utilize food stamps -- or, SNAP, in actual legislation parlance -- for at least a portion of their purchases. And the House GOP today pushed through a bill that cuts $40 billion (that's billion with a b) from the program over the next decade. So, while saying that "members of the GOP want one in seven Americans to go hungry" is a bit over the top, as of now, there's really no legitimate evidence to the contrary.

Seeing as this news wasn't entirely surprising, everyone had their perfectly-honed rage-infused soundbites ready to go. The L.A. Times was just waiting for the official vote to take place before hitting "publish" on their op-ed piece.

Their big point:


As far as the Democrat side of the aisle is concerned with the massive cuts, shocker, they're certainly not in favor:

And from Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier:


The plan's passage -- which was passed in a 217-210 vote, with all Democrats voting against the measure -- also led a few Republicans to showcase some hesitation about the massive cuts:

But, simply to offer some kind of balance to this post, here's the GOP's point of view regarding why the cuts are necessary for all of the American people:

And apparently that "safety net" means that one in seven Americans are back to worrying how they're going to put food on their table.

If there's any consolation to these cuts getting passed, it's that the current makeup of the Senate will keep this vote from really doing a whole lot. When the bill reaches that chamber of Congress, the Democrat-led Senate is planning on getting rid of a substantial part of these cuts before reconciling back with in the House. But still, the message from the House GOP should be clear to voters by now:

Food is not a basic right for the American people.

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