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Democrat Slams GOP Congressmen For Expensing $166 A Day For Food Yet Voting To Cut Food Stamps

by David Badash on September 20, 2013

in News,Politics

Post image for Democrat Slams GOP Congressmen For Expensing $166 A Day For Food Yet Voting To Cut Food Stamps

Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier must have had her staff working overtime to run through the public records of what her fellow Congressmen have been expensing — under the guise of doing the people’s business. Congress, like many corporate executives, is allowed a generous sum to travel around the world and claim it’s in the national interest.

And who picks up the tab? You do.

Yes, your tax dollars fund ridiculous trips of globe-trekking Senators and Congressmen. Sure, maybe their trips to foreign lands help them understand how to do their jobs better, but when they refuse to even do their jobs — like the GOP in the House and Senate, and when they refuse to incorporate advances from foreign countries into America’s culture (“Because America is the best! American exceptionalism! Hell yeah!”) then why are we paying for them to rack up air miles and contacts that will help them once they leave “public service”?

Here is the Congresswoman’s excellent take down of her colleagues, some of whom “got $166 a day for food,” in Dublin, for example. Of course, just a few hours later, the Republican-led House decided to steal $40 billion in food stamps from four million Americans.


Is Your Congressman One Of The 13 Who Get Federal Farm Subsidies But Voted To Cut Food Stamps?

Did Your Congressman Just Vote To Kick 4 Million Americans Off Food Stamps? (Full List)


Sadly, the good Congresswoman from California didn’t mention names.

Full text, via Congresswoman Speier:

Mr. Speaker, thank you.

You know, in my district, California 14, we have about 4,000 families who are on food stamps, but some of my colleagues have thousands and thousands more. Yet, they somehow feel like crusaders, like heroes when they vote to cut food stamps. Some of these same members travel to foreign countries under the guise of official business. They dine at lavish restaurants, eating steak, vodka and even caviar. They receive money to do this. That’s right, they don’t pay out of pocket for these meals.

Let me give you a few examples. One member was given $127.41 a day for food on his trip to Argentina. He probably had a fare [sic] amount of steak. Another member was given $3,588 for food and lodging during a six-day trip to Russia. He probably drank a fair amount of vodka and probably even had some caviar. That particular member has 21,000 food stamp recipients in his district. One of those people who is on food stamps could live a year on what this congressman spent on food and lodging for six days. Another 20 members made a trip to Dublin, Ireland. They got $166 a day for food. These members didn’t pay a dime. They received almost $200 for a single meal only for themselves. Yet, for them the idea of helping fellow Americans spend less than $5 a day makes their skin crawl. The faces of families of veterans, of farmers, of the disabled, of the working poor are not visible to them, not even when they are their own constituents.

Last week, a man named Ron Shaich wrote on his LinkdIn page. He’s the founder and CEO of Panera bread. He wrote, despite wanting to fight hunger and poverty in America, he really didn’t know what it was like to be truly hungry. And so Ron is taking the SNAP challenge. The millionaire food mogul is living on $4.50 a day. I’ve taken the snap challenge, and I can tell you it is a horrible experience. You think about food constantly. You are always hungry. But those on food stamps live on $4.50 every day, not for one week, for long into their future. That is so crushing.

Historically, food stamps have been part of the farm bill. It’s that same bill that 26 corporate farmers who remain nameless get $1 million each in subsidies meant for real farmers. The taxpayers are giving $7 billion per year to large agribusiness, yet, Republicans feel SNAP programs cost us too much money. They want to cut it.

Mr. Speaker, I can stand here and say that my point is about saving food stamps from cuts. That’s true. But my larger point is about us as a country, as a society, as neighbors. I’m a member of the least productive congress in the history of this country. I’m ashamed of that.

To be honest, if the federal government shut down for a couple of weeks, as we keep hearing, would Americans even notice? When a government of the people or for the people becomes a government in spite of the people, then who are we really serving?

If we refuse to take care of those who are the most vulnerable at a tiny fraction of the costs that, say, our defense budget, don’t we cease to be true public servants?

Ron Shaich is putting himself in the worn-out shoes of 48 million fellow Americans. I am ready to do the same again.

I wonder how many of my Republican colleagues would want to cut food stamps if they had taken the SNAP challenge. After all, that means no more steak, no more caviar or vodka. Based on these members’ eating habits, I wonder if they could survive.

I yield back.

[Bolding ours]


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JohnnyRalph September 21, 2013 at 12:58 am

People who earn money can spend it however they like. People who don't earn money cannot spend other people's money.

Raylusk September 21, 2013 at 3:21 am

Jesus made it clear that there is no "others people money." He said the money belongs to the government. Plus Congress persons shouldn't be spending government money on food for themselves while denying food to those who live in poverty. Get better talking points in the future. Or better yet have some compassion and use facts in your comments.

JohnnyRalph September 21, 2013 at 12:16 pm

I am a libertarian agnostic. Jesus does not factor into my beliefs.

rcrowley32 September 21, 2013 at 4:17 am

The Congressmen didn't earn it! that is precisely the point! This is taxpayers money they are spending! It is exactly the same thing, if not worse.

svadhisthana7 September 21, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Other people's money… Hmm… Like taxpayers' money? That's what's paying these members of Congress.

And define "earn". There's a massive income disparity in the US. Wealthy people tend to be born into wealthy families with golden safety nets. They're sent to prep school and college on their parents' dime, and then they claim that they're entirely "self made". Please. Poor people want a more even playing field that's less dependent on luck. That's a reasonable request. Do you really want to deny people basic needs such as food?

Lisamoon September 21, 2013 at 11:26 pm

You do understand that those who receive SNAP benefits are often employed and pay taxes. They aren't spending "other people's money". Americans pay taxes whether they are employed or not.

mja0110 September 22, 2013 at 7:25 pm

people receiving more in tax breaks and benefits than they pay in are not paying taxes.

NANCI00 October 13, 2013 at 10:45 am

You DO understand that the $166/day to EAT on is OUR TAX DOLLARS, right?

Charmed Pop September 21, 2013 at 1:21 am

Explain why the congressmen are being paid then…

HiramHawk September 21, 2013 at 10:22 am

"Congressmen" are also unemployed, since they occupy an elected office and not a job. If they would stop fighting other people's stupid wars (for their personal profit) there would be plenty of money left, to balance the budget and pay for the food stamps. Our government knowingly and intentionally ruined our economy for their own gain. They made themselves into millionaires bankrupting America and exporting jobs to other countries.

mja0110 September 21, 2013 at 11:41 am

gee, i just spent 5 minutes of my life waiting for her to say even once that, as the headline reads "GOP Congressmen ((For)) Expensing $166 A Day For Food"
hmmm, didn't happen. never said which party. not even once. she never said that. so i guess this entire article is based on a lie, and shows a very obvious bias.
nice try tho

tenconamei September 21, 2013 at 2:56 pm

>never said which party

The GOP refers to Republicans.

mja0110 September 21, 2013 at 3:38 pm

right. thanks for the rudimentary lesson in politics.
here is rudimentary lesson for you in debate and conversation: try bother watching the video or reading the text of what is being discussed so you at least have a basic idea of what you are talking about.
SHE NEVER ONCE says which party the members she is talking about is aligned with. never. not once. ever.
so to have a headline that reads "Democrat Slams GOP Congressmen…" when she never ever even once says who she is attacking is, as i said, biased and based on a lie.
next time maybe at least try to know a little something that you are talking about, ok?

svadhisthana7 September 21, 2013 at 10:32 pm

"SHE NEVER ONCE says which party the members she is talking about is aligned with."

The article never claims she did. The congressmen are GOP, however, so the title is correct. Your reading comprehension could use some work.

mja0110 September 22, 2013 at 7:17 pm

right… your half way there, try to keep following along. i'll continue with the remial education for you as long as you continue to show progress in your comprehension
the article never claims she did. the headline claims she did. the headline reads>>>
"Democrat Slams GOP Congressmen For Expensing $166 A Day For Food Yet Voting To Cut Food Stamps"
and yet she never once says who she is slamming, or what party the people that expensed their lunches is from. so if the title claims she is slamming GOP members for doing something, and then the article is a verbatim transcript of the linked video, as well as the video both show clearly she never once slams anyone in specific, but instead speaks of an unnamed party, how does that make the headline anything but a contradiction of tyhe article, and an obvious distortion of what is absolutely provable, both by reading the article, or watching the video?
hence, my comment is dead on accurate. the headline reads that she slams the GOP specifically, and my comment you are debating was >>>quote>>>
" never said which party. not even once. she never said that. so i guess this entire article is based on a lie, and shows a very obvious bias. " <<<end quote<<<
so um… whats your point here, other than showing everyone you haven't a clue about what i said?
feel free to admit you hadnt a clue but felt the need to spout off anyway, and thank me for helping you comprehend basic conversation.
you are welcome

tenconamei September 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm

All the members Congresswoman Speier was talking about were GOP. She is talking about them exclusively.

By the way, writing things in all caps makes you sound smarter. You ought to do it more often.

mja0110 September 22, 2013 at 7:08 pm

writing in caps LIKE THIS is used to show certain relevance. i didnt write in all caps, i added weightiness to certain words. claiming i wrote in all caps when i capitalized 3 of approx 90 words is FAR from writing in all caps.
you should figure out how to phrase things better. it MIGHT help you sound smarter.
probably no though
aint no fixin' stoopid…

RainbowDemocrat September 21, 2013 at 12:20 pm

GOP = R = Republican = I got mine, you get yours…

mja0110 September 21, 2013 at 3:39 pm

as opposed to "you went out and earned yours, now give me some, so i can have mine"? (without earning it)

RainbowDemocrat September 21, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Check the letters after the names of those that voted for and against. That should clear up some of the smoke in your head…

mja0110 September 22, 2013 at 7:24 pm

no smoke in my head. voting for or against something is meaningless to the text of this article. it claims she is specifically bashing certain party members. and yet, it is clear that she never even once mentions who or from what party people put food and drink on an expense account.
the article claims she does.
hence when i said it is based on a lie, i am correct, and you cant even realize it.
(and by the way, like it or not,{{i personally dont}} but expense accounts for food is a perk of the job. you know, a job? as opposed to living on the dole? .)

NANCI00 October 13, 2013 at 10:47 am

THINK about this. Food stamps.. what, $4/day maybe? Peanut butter, rice and bread perhaps? And these pigs have the nerve to continue their $166 FOOD ALLOWANCE???? OMG! FOR THE IDIOT THAT SAYS IT IS 'THEIR' MONEY TO SPEND… ARE YOU NUTS? It is OUR tax dollars they are forking into their fat greasy faces!

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