Today on Face The Nation, Senator Dick Durbin-IL (D) lamented the recent passage of the farm bill in the house after removing food stamp benefits from the legislation. To pass the bill by the slim of margin of 216-208, the House GOP stripped the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) from the bill to reduce the cost and appeal to more conservatives after the bill failed to pass the week before by a vote of 195-234. It is worth noting not a single Democrat voted for the final bill and President Obama has promised to veto the legislation in the extremely unlikely event that it would clear the Senate.
Durbin clearly laid the blame for the cuts at the feet of Republican insensitivity and incompetence in the House of Representatives.
“When it comes to the Farm Bill, twice now the Senate has passed the Farm Bill by strong bipartisan votes, sent it to the House where it failed because they couldn’t even call a bill and this year when it was called even Republicans wouldn’t vote for it. Now they have stripped out food stamps. I listened to the explanation from Congressman (Mike) Kelly-PA (R). He wonders why so many people are receiving assistance — [it’s] because their wages and income are so low, they’re working but they can’t afford to feed their children; elderly people on social security not receiving enough to really keep food in the house. That is a problem we should face squarely. It isn’t a matter of defrauding American taxpayers, it’s reflection on the weakness in our economy for a lot of hard working families.”