As the countdown to a possible government shutdown ticks to fewer than two weeks, House Republicans are spending their time voting to slash food stamps and, of course, defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The GOP-backed food stamp bill would cut $39 billion over the next decade from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides an average of $133 in monthly aid to more than 47 million Americans. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that about 3.5 million adults would no longer be eligible for the program if the changes are enacted.
A similar Senate bill cuts about $4.5 billion in SNAP expenditures, mostly by reducing administrative costs.
“What the House Republicans are saying is this: Get a good-paying job or your family will just have to go hungry,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). “But there aren’t enough good-paying jobs, as you can see… The Republican approach is like saying we’re tired of spending so much on wildfires, so we’ll just cut the budget of the fire service. That isn’t going to work.”
After the food-stamp vote, House Republicans – backed by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) – will turn their attention to defunding the ACA. It will be the 42nd vote to defund the 2010 health-care law.
House Republicans, hijacked by the most-conservative members of their party, will propose a temporary spending measure to keep the government operating past the end of the month. The catch is that the bill would prevent any funding from being used to implement the
If the bill passes the House as expected, it would set up a showdown in the last week of September to keep the government running and prevent the country from defaulting on its debt for the first time ever.
As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) put it after hearing of the Republican plan, “bipartisanship is a thing of the past. Now all we do is ‘gotcha’ legislation.”