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Samantha

(9,314 posts)
Mon Aug 25, 2014, 03:10 AM Aug 2014

The Farmer in the Well (of Congress)

On the subject of the Farm Bill, it appears 15 Members of Congress voted for their own self-benefit while gutting 47 million of us. The word "service" to them must denote "self-serve" as opposed to serving one's constituents.

From an article dated September 2013, we learned that it was Republican Frank Lucas who introduced legislation cutting SNAP:

"House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) who introduced legislation on September 16 setting forth the House Republican leadership’s proposal to cut SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program) by at least $39 billion over ten years. This is almost double the cut in the House Agriculture Committee farm bill and about ten times the SNAP cut in the Senate-passed farm bill.[1] The proposal is expected to go to the House floor this week."

The CBO estimated that these cuts would be deleterious to the most destitute among us:

"1.7 million unemployed, childless adults in 2014 who live in areas of high unemployment — a group that has average income of only 22 percent of the poverty line ....

"2.1 million people in 2014, mostly low-income working families and low-income seniors, who have gross incomes or assets modestly above the federal SNAP limits but disposable income — the income that a family actually has available to spend on food and other needs — below the poverty line in most cases often because of high rent or child care costs....

"Other poor, unemployed parents who want to work but cannot find a job or an opening in a training program — along with their children, other than infants."

All quoted material above can be found at this Center on Budget and Policies Priorities link:

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=4009

With the passage of this Farm Bill containing 8.6 billion in cuts in food stamps, 15 fortunate members of Congress potentially benefit from the subsidies to be awarded, most of whom will receive thousands of dollars. It is not surprising that each of them voted in favor of cutting the SNAP program. Personally, I would think it would be professionally embarrassing for this information to be made public knowledge, but the term "embarrassed politician" seems to be an oxymoron. Nevertheless, here is the list:

http://politix.topix.com/news/10139-these-15-congress-members-could-receive-millions-of-dollars-from-the-farm-bill-they-just-passed

And what name leaps from the page? Why, it is none other than the wife of Frank Lucas! Perhaps you might want to check out the list to see if your representative is listed.

This is the type of information we should use in campaigning against these self-serving politicians. The question we should be asking voters is if your best interests are not being served by your representatives, is it because they serve to benefit themselves? We must do better than this.

Sam

11 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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merrily

(45,251 posts)
1. I don't care who introduces bills cutting SNAP.
Mon Aug 25, 2014, 03:49 AM
Aug 2014

None of them has become law without Democratic votes and the signature of the President.

Some of our most allegedly liberal Senators have voted for cuts and none of the bills cutting SNAP have been vetoed.

We need to stop getting played by D.C. kabuki.

Also a general observation: there is a difference between farms and factory farming. I have lots of sympathy for the former and not all that much for the latter.

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
3. I agree with everything you say
Mon Aug 25, 2014, 09:32 AM
Aug 2014

The best way I can see to call them out is during election season. I do not think most people in some of the red states even recognize their representatives receive so much in farm subsidies. I do not think they make the correlation in the cuts in food stamps and the award of subsidies to farmers. We should hold the feet of these 15 members of Congress on this list to the electoral fire when they run again for reelection. We need to make a campaign issue out of maneuvers like this.

Sam

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
4. Right -- 13 Republicans and 2 Dems are on the list
Mon Aug 25, 2014, 10:20 AM
Aug 2014

Tester doesn't surprise me. Although a Democrat, with him it seems a "sometimes" thing. This is one of those times. I do like him but he does lean right on some issues.

Michael Bennet I can't comment on because I am not that familiar with him.

Thanks for posting on my thread.

I say we just keep trying to bring this issue up and humiliate them in front of their constituents, especially when they run for reelection.

Sam

Autumn

(45,168 posts)
5. Michael Bennet? Yeah it's not a surprise to me at all. He and I had a "conversation"
Mon Aug 25, 2014, 11:59 AM
Aug 2014

he doesn't need my vote so of course he won't get it again, nor any of the votes of my family. Democrat or no I will never vote for him again, I don't care what nut runs against him. It crushed me when Obama came here to campaign for him, had Obama stayed away we would have had a progressive.
Good post. Thanks

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
10. If one believes in the old axiom "all politics is local" -- and I do
Mon Aug 25, 2014, 08:30 PM
Aug 2014

most people would agree with you.

Thanks for posting on my thread.

Sam

Samantha

(9,314 posts)
9. Yes, I know, and I appreciate your posting this information
Mon Aug 25, 2014, 01:09 PM
Aug 2014

But the thing that just eats away at me is that 16 Congressional members voted for it and will personally benefit from the subsidies flowing in part from the cuts to food stamps.

It is trite to say, but so true, Republicans have no shame (and evidentally neither do a couple of Dems). My point in staying up late last night and putting this information together is that I truly believe we need to figuratively slap these people in the face with this data when they run again for office. It seems to me that is a conflict of interest to not abstain on voting on an item such as this when the results put funds in the members' pockets. Their constituents who have been harmed need to see ads on this very issue when the Congressional critter runs for office again....

It is so flagrant -- but I doubt we will see anyone make a campaign weapon out of these Members' self-serving maneuvers.

Sam

merrily

(45,251 posts)
11. Yes, however, you don't have to profit directly from something to have your vote benefit you.
Wed Aug 27, 2014, 03:21 AM
Aug 2014

Campaign donations, either directly to the politician or to a PAC or to the *wink* national party *wing often make direct benefits look like peanuts. And then, there are also all kinds of other benefits to politicians coming from lobbyists.

Each side can publish and underscore these scandals about the either side until the cows come home. Bottom line, though, look at the shape the country is in. One side did not get it in this shape.

And I bet if you were to go to a Republican site, you could find stories like that about Dems. Those stories might be exaggerated, even false, but i promise you, they are not all false.

BTW, who makes the rules that allow members of Congress to vote on matters that put money in their own pockets? Congress. Who signs those votes? The President. I cannot say I know the history of those votes off the top of my head, but I bet you my home that more than one party was responsible for those votes.

I am tired of playing the blue vs. red game. As far as I can tell, the only ones winning that game are professional politicians, pundits, etc. The only game in which I have an interest anymore is the 90% vs. the 10%--and that 10% includes politicians of both of the largest two parties.

All else is a distraction, as best I have been able to discern, one shiny thing after another to divert us magpies while they take what is left of the country, polluting what is left of our clean air and clean water as they take it.

merrily

(45,251 posts)
6. Many more Democrats have voted for cuts to food stamps in the past. And what about a cloture vote?
Mon Aug 25, 2014, 12:05 PM
Aug 2014

Republicans are in the minority, yet they stop bills simply by fake filibusters and not voting for cloture. We give Democrats a pass when that happens.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/05/21/1210783/-Which-Democrats-Just-Voted-against-Food-Stamps#

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