One major reason the five-year farm bill has not been passed is that conservative House and Senate Republicans want to cut food stamps by $4.5 billion.
The Great Recession has caused a marked increase in food stamp-eligible people, as might be expected during a sustained period of high unemployment and wage stagnation for those lucky enough to have jobs.
While the tea party House is the main roadblock, Alabama Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (proudly named after two Confederate traitors) is the Senate GOP leader of the starve-the-poor movement supported by well-fed Republicans.
It has become sadly clear that Agriculture Secretary Vilsack wishes to make welfare part of the normal American experience, with no regard for social or economic consequences. How else can you explain why he gave an award to a recruitment worker for overcoming the "mountain pride" of rural Americans?The Department of Agriculture is doing outreach to hungry poor people, and neo-Confederate Sessions is worried that that offends the "mountain pride" of hungry poor people.
Sessions has been fighting to cut aid to poor hungry people for a while. Back in June, he attacked Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's efforts to maintain food stamp spending in the farm bill.
The junior senator from New York proposes to increase food stamp spending even more than the current growth that we've seen, explaining, quote, food stamps are an extraordinary investment because every dollar that you put into the SNAP program, the food stamp program, you get out $1.71, close quote.So, according to the neo-Confederate, there are "demands that this country has" (presumably including sending $2 back to Alabama for every dollar the federal government receives from Alabama, New York gets just 72 cents back per dollar sent) that do not include ensuring that poor people have enough to eat.
It's precisely this kind of thinking that has bled our treasury of money that we need to pay for the demands that this country has. I also think it's a moral issue. Is our national goal to place as many people on welfare, food stamp support, as we can possibly put on that program? Is that our goal? Is that a moral vision for the United States of America, just to see how many people we can place in a situation where they're dependent on the federal government for their food?
Gillibrand's response to the neo-Confederate was classic, given that Sessions and most of his voters are alleged Christians:
In Matthew 25, the first question Christ asks on Judgment Day is, "Did you feed the poor?"Traitor Traitor Sessions III has certainly never missed a meal, or known anyone who has, and he knows that his white-wingnut base in Alabama loves his hating on poor hungry people, because they believe he's talking about the blacks and the browns.
It's unacceptable that we have Republican advocates who are saying it's immoral to support food stamps.
This is money that's literally going to feed children. I don't know if he's ever heard a young child say "Mommy, I'm still hungry," but any mother who hears those words and is not able to give their child food is unacceptable. Unacceptable in a country as rich as ours to not be able to provide those families with the food they need.
Whereas, in the real non-wingnut world, the racial distribution of food stamps is 49 percent white, 26 percent black, 20 percent Hispanic.
The sad part is that most white food-stamp Alabamians probably voted for Sessions, because he's a white "Christian" named for two traitors.