The farm bill, which gets updated every five years or so, spells out who can participate in SNAP, the assistance program previously known as food stamps. The most recent version of this legislation, which President Donald Trump signed into law on Dec. 20, 2018, left out new limits on the eligibility of adults without children. Those limits were part of the House version, but Congress dropped them prior to the bill’s passage. Continue reading
Protest plans come as concerns mount about impacts of the ongoing government shutdown, including on food stamps and Medicare
As the partial government shutdown entered its 19th day on Wednesday—well on its way to becoming the longest in U.S. history—dozens of unions are planning a rally in
Washington, D.C., adding to mounting pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to stand up to President Donald Trump, who is refusing to back a budget bill without $5.7 billion in funding for his “ridiculous” border wall.
Announcing the rally at AFL-CIO’s D.C. headquarters, which is scheduled to kick of at noon local time on Thursday, organizers said the union-led event was planned “to protest the continuing shutdown and resulting furloughs that are financially hurting 800,000 federal employees and families.” Speakers will included furloughed federal employees, union leaders, and members of Congress. Continue reading
“Trump doesn’t give up when he can’t get his cruel agenda through Congress.”
After Congress passed the $867 billion Farm Bill last week without the House’s “cruel” and “shameful” provisions to tighten work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—often called food stamps—the Trump administration is pushing to impose such restrictions through changes at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
While critics including Food & Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter charged that the final Farm Bill “fails to fix critical problems in our food system,” she and many others expressed relief that it “does not include many of the horrible provisions from the House bill that would have gutted the safety net provided by SNAP.” Continue reading
“The Trump administration’s narrative is not based in fact but is simply part of a much broader attempt to penalize and disparage immigrants.”
With the Trump administration reportedly close to unveiling a xenophobic proposal that portrays immigrants as leeches who exploit government healthcare programs at tremendous cost to U.S. taxpayers, a new study published on Wednesday shows that—contrary to the White House’s narrative—immigrants effectively subsidize the care of native-born Americans by paying more into the healthcare system than they receive in treatment.
“Overall, immigrants almost certainly paid more toward medical expenses than they withdrew, providing a low-risk pool that subsidized the public and private health insurance markets,” researchers from Harvard Medical School and Tufts University write in a summary of their findings, which were published in the International Journal of Health Services. “We conclude that insurance and medical care should be made more available to immigrants rather than less so.” Continue reading
“This is just another attempt by Paul Ryan to pretend that the biggest problem with the federal deficit is lazy poor people, not the $1.5 trillion tax cut he and his colleagues just gave to the richest people in the country.”
By for Common Dreams. Published 6-22-2018
With the Poor People’s Campaign protesting “policy violence against families and children” outside the Capitol Building, House Republicans on Thursday forced through a “shameful” and “cruel” Farm Bill that would deprive about 2 million Americans of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), often called food stamps.
“It’s a deliberate slap in the face to the millions of low-income Americans who rely on SNAP benefits to survive,” declared Morris Pearl, chair of Patriotic Millionaires. “We don’t want to live in a country where the government allows its citizens to starve, and neither should anyone else.” Continue reading
“At the end of the day, particularly in a rich country like the United States, the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power.”
It is no secret that the United States has among the worst levels of inequality, poverty, and infant mortality of all wealthy nations, but a scathing new United Nations report (pdf) concludes that President Donald Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress are “deliberately” working to make these already devastating crises worse by waging war on the poor while lavishing the rich with massive tax cuts.
Highlighting the Trump administration’s push to dismantle the last vestiges of the American social safety net, Philip Alston—U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights and author of the new report—told the Guardian on Friday: “This is a systematic attack on America’s welfare program that is undermining the social safety net for those who can’t cope on their own. Once you start removing any sense of government commitment, you quickly move into cruelty.” Continue reading
“Rich people who don’t need it get lavish billion-dollar handouts from this president…The struggling poor, on the other hand, are going to see new work requirements attached to their $1.40-a-meal food stamp.”
Social welfare advocates on Friday denounced a proposal included in a draft of the 2018 Farm Bill which would impose work requirements on most adults who receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly called food stamps. The proposal represents the first concrete attempt by Republicans to erode the social safety net since President Donald Trump took office.
Critics said the plan showed blatant hostility toward the 42 million Americans who rely on the program, and that it would do nothing to “break the poverty cycle” as House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-Texas) claimed on Thursday. Continue reading
The GOP’s new House speaker says he “trusts the American people,” but his budget takes direct aim at them.
Paul Ryan paints himself as a champion of “the people” over “Washington.”
But the “people” the new House speaker defends are corporations. And the “Washington” he attacks is the one that does deliver for real people.
For the past five years, Ryan has authored the budget passed by the House of Representatives. His imprint is so great that each document is commonly known as the “Ryan budget.”
Every year, those budgets reliably propose sharp cuts to social services alongside steep tax discounts for the rich. His caucus demands these cuts, Ryan claims, because “we trust the American people.” After all, he adds, “Who knows better? The people or Washington?”
But when you look beyond these sound-bite politics at the actual choices Ryan makes in his budget, it’s easy to see whom he really trusts — and whom he really works for.
How, for example, does cutting $89 billion in Pell grants for college — as his budget last year did — put more trust in working families who are struggling to give their children a college education?
Then there’s his $125 billion in proposed cuts to food stamps for the upcoming fiscal year. Isn’t Ryan breaking the trust we have as people — through our government in Washington — with a mother who relies on food assistance to feed her children because her employer pays her a poverty wage?
Ryan pretends that the heroes in his story are “the people,” but his budget takes direct aim at them. And when he makes “Washington” the villain, he’s covering up for the super-rich campaign contributors bankrolling the assault.
Ryan’s latest budget would slash $759 billion from infrastructure, medical research, and virtually every other service and investment ordinary people rely on to help provide security and opportunity. Are there any real people who don’t need good roads, bridges, and health care?
On health care, Ryan’s proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act would end regulations that stop insurance companies from denying care because of pre-existing conditions. Are “the people” that Ryan puts his trust in health insurance executives?
On taxes, Ryan would eliminate tax credits for 13 million working families, including 25 million children, by an average of $1,073 a year. At the same time, instead of ending tax breaks for corporations that ship profits overseas, he’d make them permanent.
It doesn’t have to be this way. There actually are representatives in Congress who do work for working families, not CEOs. This past May, 96 House lawmakers voted for the People’s Budget — and against Ryan’s proposal.
Developed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the People’s Budget invests in infrastructure, renewable energy, and schools to create 8 million jobs in the next three years.
Instead of cutting back on vital services for families, it helps families secure debt-free college, child nutrition, and affordable housing. Instead of more money for Pentagon contractors and less for veterans, it reduces spending for outdated weapons and increases support for vets. It ends tax giveaways for corporations that ship jobs and profits overseas, and it taxes Wall Street speculation.
The People’s Budget also includes a small-donor campaign finance system, so members of Congress could run for office without taking any large contributions from the super-rich or corporations. That might help put real people back in charge of “the people’s house.”
The real conflict isn’t Washington vs. the people. It’s the super-rich vs. the rest of us. And Republicans are rallying behind a House speaker who’s built his career representing the rich and powerful.
Americans need to rally behind a different kind of politician — the folks who will really stand up for people.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
About the Author:
Richard Kirsch is a Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and the author of Fighting for Our Health: The Epic Battle to Make Health Care a Right in the United States, published in February 2012 by the Rockefeller Institute Press. He is also Senior Adviser to USAction and an Institute Fellow at the Rockefeller institute.
In 2013, commissaries across America saw over $104 million dollars in food stamp purchases by the enlisted personnel using the commissary’s already discounted prices for basic food supplies. This is almost double over the amount spent in food stamps by military members in 2012.
While it is concerning that our troops are not paid well enough that they qualify for food stamps to begin with, it becomes even more alarming when considering the recent actions by Congress that will directly affect these enlisted men and women as well as their families.
The recent budget passed in Washington limits pay increases in the military to 1%, while current inflation trends are at 1.5% and rising.
President Obama has signed the new Farm Bill into law, which eliminates over $4 million in food stamps, to be taken from recipients in 14 states, with 40% of those people being military families. This is in addition to the cuts to the SNAP program that were taken as part of the not-to-be-realized-but was sequester following the debt ceiling debacle last year.
Because the military requires enlisted personnel to transfer to various service locations, the unemployment rate of military spouses is currently at a staggering 30%, making supplemental income to the military paycheck all but impossible for most struggling military families. For those spouses who qualify for unemployment benefits, the payments cease when the enlisted person is transferred, as the unemployment benefits are administered through a state payment system, not on a federal level.
Have you ever dined on the luxurious quality of an MRE?
The Bill will cut $8 billion from SNAP over the next 10 years. To soften the blow, the draconian measure was wrapped in the language of “only a 1% cut” when revealed to the public. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, right?
The 1% cut will be taken from 850,000 households across 14 states, with as much as a 50% cut to those household’s monthly benefit. Hardest hit of the cities will be New York City itself, where 40% of food stamp recipients are military veterans. The statistic of 1% was derived by using the national number of recipients to average the effect of the 850,000 households losing 50% of the benefit. Otherwise, we would be shocked, outraged and demand the Senate not pass the bill.
I don’t know about you, but I am shocked and outraged. To take food from the most vulnerable people and average it over the nation’s total program recipients for politics-before-people purposes is nothing less than lying to the public about the effects of legislation. They think the public can’t figure basic math and will applaud their efforts without examining the real facts.
Since when has not feeding a veteran’s family in New York City been beneficial for a farmer in Iowa? How is a “Farm Bill” related to feeding FEWER people? Attaching the SNAP cuts to the Farm Bill is purely political, and comes after other cuts to the program have already been passed. After growing up on a farm, I can say this smells very much like organic fertilizer of the male bovine kind…
After all, throwing a veteran’s family under the manure spreader is easier for Washington than throwing corporate tax breaks under the plow. They are learning to compromise…