Can you think of a better example of inhumane hypocrisy from our members of Congress than one that literally takes food out of the mouths of children but lines their own wallets with millions of your tax dollars? Back in July, you’ll remember, for the first time since 1973, House Republicans successfully voted to remove the Food Stamp bill from the Farm bill, while retaining and passing the Farm Subsidies bill. For decades, the two were historically combined because the interest of the poor need to be piggybacked to the interests of the rich, or the rich might gut the Food Stamps bill — as they did this week.
So, who are the rich gutting the food stamps bill? Member of Congress, of course.
This week, the Republican-led House voted to strip $40 billion in food stamps funding over a ten year period. If that bill becomes law it will kick four million Americans — many if not most of them families with children — off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program.
They also voted to make, as a condition of receiving food stamps, most recipients work 20 hours a week — in an economy that has 7.3 percent unemployment.
Calling it “a victory for commonsense” yesterday, while patting himself on the back for voting to defund Obamacare, Speaker of the House John Boehner said:
“At a time when the economy is barely eking along, wages aren’t increasing, new jobs aren’t available, and what are we doing? We’re putting more costs and more inconvenience on the American people.”
That was the Republican Speaker’s rationale for defunding Obamacare. Apparently, Speaker Boehner is unaware his House just gutted food stamps one day earlier, and demanded those who need money to eat will have to find jobs in an economy that “is barely eking along,” where “wages aren’t increasing,” and where “new jobs aren’t available.”
The economy looks one way when he’s discussing food stamps — but entirely different when he’s discussing Obamacare.
But that hypocrisy pales in comparison to this.
Back in July, when Congress stripped the food stamps bill from the farm subsidies bill, fourteen Congressmen who voted for that attack on the poor are themselves farmers. Yes, they are recipients of farm subsidies.
And yesterday, thirteen of those fourteen voted to gut the food stamps bill.
And yes, they are all Republicans.
Perhaps our “favorite” hypocrite is Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN), who in May misused the Bible to come up with this gem:
He “cited Jesus Christ’s call to care for ‘the least of these’ when describing the government’s need to assist the hungry,” as Think Progress noted. “Instead, Fincher explained his support for the proposed cuts by quoting a very different Bible verse – 2 Thessalonians 3:10: ‘For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.’”
Congressman Fincher, as you’ll see below, has received $3,483,824 in farm subsidies alone — not including any other possible government insurance assistance.
In July, Congressman George Miller (D-CA) prepared a report (below), “14 Republican Members of Congress Vote to Keep their own Farm Subsidies but Fail to Extend Nutrition Aid for Low-Income Families.”
New analysis finds that 14 members of Congress voted to continue farm subsidies from which they personally benefit while failing to continue nutrition aid for 47 million Americans. These members of Congress:
· Are each Republicans;
· Have a total net worth of up to $124.5 million;
· Have received a total of at least $7.2 million in farm subsidies;
· Each previously voted to gut the SNAP program by giving states large financial incentives to kick families off SNAP.
In stark contrast, SNAP, which each member detailed in this report voted against extending, is limited to families with an income below the federal poverty line ($19,530 for a family of three). In fact, the average SNAP household has a gross monthly income of only $744, and their average monthly SNAP benefit is just $281.
Only one of the fourteen who voted for the farm subsidies bill voted against cutting food stamps: Rep. David Valadao of California.
So, meet all 13 Republican Congressmen who voted to fund their farms with millions of your tax dollars, and voted to cut $40 billion in food stamps and kick four million Americans off the SNAP program:
Republican–Alabama 4th District
Total Farm Subsidies Received: $207,426
Net Worth: $506,019 to $5,815,999
Republican–Texas 27th District
Total Farm Subsidies Received: $1,205
Net Worth: $9,659,099 to $38,785,999
Republican–Tennessee 8th District
Total Farm Subsidies Received: $3,483,824
Net Worth: -$1,149,999 to $204,995
Republican–Missouri 4th District
Total Farm Subsidies Received: $516,000
Net Worth: $2,218,026 to $13,854,995
Republican–Minnesota 2nd District
Total Farm Subsidies Received: $6,548
Net Worth: $248,009 to $645,000
Republican–California 1st District
Total Farm Subsidies Received: $1,710,385
Net Worth: $1,268,007 to $5,596,000
Republican–Iowa 3rd District
Total Farm Subsidies Received: $313,776
Net Worth: $2,315,175 to $7,650,167
Republican-Oklahoma 3rd District
Total Farm Subsidies Received: $40,613
Net Worth: -$264,990 to $1,059,995
Total Farm Subsidies Received: $14,289
Net Worth: $7,252,036 to $30,584,999
Republican–Texas 18th District
Total Farm Subsidies Received: $4,321
Net Worth: $6,560,080 to $19,129,998
Republican–South Dakota At-Large
Total Farm Subsidies Received: $503,751
Net Worth: -$464,992 to $674,999
Republican–Indiana 3rd District
Total Farm Subsidies Received: $196,268
Net Worth: $14,019 to $1,082,995
Republican–Texas 13th District
Total Farm Subsidies Received: $29,774
Net Worth: $241,007 to $580,000
Note: Congressional statistics are via Congressman George Miller’s report, above.
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