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January 11, 2024 11:29 AM UTC

Once Again: The Cruelty IS THE POINT for Republicans

  • 10 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

THURSDAY UPDATE: Yet another troubling headline from The Washington Post:

As Tony Romm writes:

Some of the roughly 5 million families who receive rental assistance from the U.S. government could see sharp cuts to their benefits — and even the threat of eviction — unless lawmakers in Washington can craft a budget deal that fully funds key housing programs in the next nine days.

The looming cliff compounds what is already a frenetic, last-minute sprint on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers this week are racing to stave off a partial federal shutdown that could unleash its greatest havoc on low-income Americans least able to afford it.

Much of the uncertainty concerns the federal housing voucher program, which helps subsidize the poorest families’ monthly rents. Last year, the U.S. government provided more than $27 billion in these benefits, which are administered by local housing authorities and landlords — an amount that’s far less than what is needed annually to satisfy national demand.

If Congress fails to reach a deal by the Jan. 19 deadline, the Department of Housing and Urban Development would have no choice but to furlough staff members and cease some of its operations — potentially jeopardizing the voucher program if it takes many weeks to restore funding.

Instead…House Republicans are concerning themselves primarily with more performative obstructionist politics.

—–

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2024 Republican Party!

That’s the headline today from The Washington Post. As Annie Gowan reports:

Moving beyond efforts to block expansion of health care for the poor and disabled, Republican governors in 15 states are now rejecting a new, federally funded summer program to give food assistance to hungry children.

The program is expected to serve 21 million youngsters starting around June, providing $2.5 billion in relief across the country.

The governors have given varying reasons for refusing to take part, from the price tag to the fact that the final details of the plan have yet to be worked out. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said she saw no need to add money to a program that helps food-insecure youths “when childhood obesity has become an epidemic.” [Pols emphasis] Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen (R) said bluntly, “I don’t believe in welfare.”

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and robot Ron DeSantis, whom she has endorsed for President, shown here with food that is definitely NOT for poor kids.

That is truly a STUNNING statement from Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds: Poor kids are already too fat!

Back to the Post:

Republican leaders have been criticized for playing politics with children in need, but they argue it is necessary to revert to pre-pandemic spending levels at a time when the United States is trillions of dollars in debt and lawmakers in Washington are struggling to come to a budget agreement. The summer food program was approved as part of a bipartisan budget agreement in 2022. [Pols emphasis]

“It’s sad,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, noting that the program has support from other states run by Republicans and Democrats. “There isn’t really a political reason for not doing this. This is unfortunate. I think governors may not have taken the time or made the effort to understand what this program is and what it isn’t.”

The U.S. Agriculture Department said Wednesday that 35 states, U.S. territories and Native American tribes indicated by the Jan. 1 deadline that they would be participating in the summer food assistance program. It will provide families with incomes below the poverty level who already get school lunches for a reduced price or free with $120 per child to buy food at grocery stores, farmers markets or other approved retailers. The USDA called it “a giant step forward” in meeting the needs of the country’s families in the summer months, when food assistance in schools is not available.

Here’s the full list of the 15 Republican-led states refusing to accept federal financial aid THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN APPROVED ANYWAY by a bipartisan vote in Congress:

  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. Florida
  4. Georgia
  5. Idaho
  6. Iowa
  7. Louisiana
  8. Mississippi
  9. Nebraska
  10. Oklahoma
  11. South Carolina
  12. South Dakota
  13. Texas
  14. Vermont
  15. Wyoming
Let them eat cake, or whatever.

Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Wyoming are also among the seven U.S. states that have still not fully extended Medicaid eligibility to low-income individuals.

There is also a Colorado connection here. During the November special legislative session, Democrats passed legislation (SB23B-002) to provide food benefits for children in low-income households during summer months when public schools are not in session (kids from low-income families could already receive breakfast and lunch on school days). In the State House, 16 Republicans voted ‘NO’ (the other 3 Republicans in the House were excused from the third reading vote). In the State Senate, only two Republicans voted ‘NO’ (Sens. Mark Baisley and Kevin Van Winkle). Of the 31 total Republicans in the state legislature, only 10 supported providing food benefits to hungry poor children.

Remember this when Republican lawmakers such as Rep. Scott Bottoms, who is also a “pastor,” start lecturing everyone in the legislature about “family values” and other related hypocrisy. Republicans generally get lots of opportunities to help underprivileged children…

They just won’t bother.

 

Comments

10 thoughts on “Once Again: The Cruelty IS THE POINT for Republicans

    1. ^^^THIS^^^ Childhood obesity is “an epidemic” because we stuff poverty-stricken communities and food deserts with processed foods chocked full of (heavily subsidized) High Fructose Corn Syrup from Iowa 🌽!!!  Irony is dead. 

      1. What a coincidence, huh Michael? I wonder how many of those chubby kids are actually malnourished? Thorntonite is onto something. Tying this money to FEMA is a great idea. And you’re correct, these ass-backward states would change their minds right quick if it happened. 

        1. They do love their disaster payments to recover damages from climate-change induced super storms. Again: irony.  dead. They've been trying to strip SNAP-related benefits from the Farm Bill for a long time, and they're particularly varocious when they are in the majority.  I wrote an extensive diary on this a decade ago when Gardner and Lamborn were in the spotlight on this.   I was going to link that diary here as much of the info is still relevant but only 5 of my 40 diaries show up in a search and that isn't one of them. 
           

          Alva, are they lost to the gods or retrievable? 

  1. I wonder if THIS will help shift any voting patterns. 

    Hope child welfare organizations will be keeping track of the consequences and issuing reports in September and October.

  2. The housing cuts are going to affect many of the elderly and disabled people where I live. I pay market rate, but 40% get vouchers or subsidies. 
    Many of those affected are rabid Republicans. Wonder how Fox will spin it so it's all Biden's fault?

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