Republicans are doing their best to strip food away from vulnerable poor Americans who need it the most.
Republicans are pushing another assault on the most vulnerable Americans and their ability to simply eat food. The heartless attack echoes Trump and his stated desire to control the eating habits of poor people.
Draft legislation from House Republicans, led by Speaker Paul Ryan, would slash food benefits for nearly 1 million people if the GOP is able to shove the bill through.
The bill, under the guise of reauthorizing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), would force states to institute more “work requirements” for recipients. The states would have to instead set up training programs for 3-5 million people.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) is currently overseeing the proposed changes to food stamps and has been holding hearings on overhauling the vital program.
Attacking the food stamp program with lip service arguing that things should be controlled and directed at the state level has been an ongoing right-wing conservative project for years.
Overstating instances of fraud and abuse — essentially accusing recipients of scamming the system — is a common and baseless trope that conservative politicians, working in concert with propaganda outlets like Fox News, have used to try to undermine the safety net for millions of vulnerable people.
Cutting welfare programs has been the central motivator behind Ryan’s entire political career. Last year, he said he had been “dreaming” of gutting Medicaid since he was in college. As speaker of the House, he has the power to hurt more people than ever in his life — and he’s using it.
Ryan has previously pushed for increasing work requirements while opposing efforts to better fund the food stamp program.
Currently, 42 million people rely on SNAP benefits, and contrary to Republican fear-mongering, that number is actually dropping. As the economy improves, thanks in large part to reforms enacted by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats, fewer people need temporary support.
Many of those reforms, like the economic stimulus, were opposed by Ryan and Conaway. In 2009, Conaway decried provisions of the stimulus as something that would “end up doing more harm to our economy than good.”
He was wrong, and now he is part of an effort to truly harm the Americans who are on the edge of complete collapse.
Republicans have repeatedly been on the wrong side of these vital issues, and despite their horrendous track record, they continue to seek out new and more depraved ways of hurting people.