House Republicans Reject Food Stamp Compromise in Favor of Reform They Admit is ‘Out Of Date’

Travis Waldron
Think Progress / News Report
Published: Thursday 5 July 2012
“House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK), in an effort to push food stamp reform that would have a fighting chance in the Senate, made sizable changes to SNAP in the House version of the farm bill.”
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House Republicans have spent the years since the Great Recession clamoring for “reform” of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, cutting funding from the program in budgetafter budget. But now that a top House Republican has drafted a deal that would make the program’s basic requirements even more stringent than Texas — a state with notoriously strict eligibility standards — conservative Republicans are balking at the deal in favor of a requirement even they admit is “out of date.”

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK), in an effort to push food stamp reform that would have a fighting chance in the Senate, made sizable changes to SNAP in the House version of the farm bill. Lucas’ draft reins in state eligibility requirements by ending what is known as “categorical eligibility” for all non-cash-assistance food programs. The Lucas version of the bill would save billions but kick nearly two million people out of the program, following the footsteps of Republican efforts over the last two years. But that isn’t enough for his fellow Republicans, who want to make deeper, “symbolic” cuts that have no chance of passing the Senate, Politico reports:

Yet for all this, according to persons familiar with the negotiations, Lucas ran into a buzz saw at recent member meetings with committee Republicans. His compromise was rejected in favor of the symbolism of ending categorical eligibility outright — without risking any adjustments.

The upshot is that the committee’s draft bill will go back to the prior House position of ending cat-el in all cases but cash assistance. This will save $11.5 billion but could drive at least 1.8 million people off the rolls and has twice been rejected by the Senate. [...]

The biggest impact of ending categorical eligibility is the reinstatement of the $2,000 asset test requiring families to spend down their savings before qualifying for help.

As Politico notes, however, even Republicans admit that returning to the $2,000 asset test is “out of date” and makes no sense:

Privately, House Republican aides admit the $2,000 cap is out of date — worth less than half of the $4,193 it would be if fully adjusted for inflation. And if the family car is valued at more than $4,650, that excess is also counted against the $2,000.

Even Lucas’ reform is a solution in search of a problem. The varying state eligibility requirements aren’t responsible for the rapid growth of SNAP over the last four years; rather, the growth came from the Great Recession and President Obama’s decision to expand the program as part of his economic stimulus package. SNAP is now shrinking and is on pace to return to its normal level in the next decade.

Still, in pushing a “compromise” that would have booted 1.8 million off of food stamps, Lucas gave the GOP the chance to do something it has been trying to do since it took control of the House. Conservatives balked, though, because the deal apparently doesn’t take away vital food assistance from enough struggling families.



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ABOUT Travis Waldron

Travis Waldron is a reporter/blogger for ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Travis grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and holds a BA in journalism and political science from the University of Kentucky. Before coming to ThinkProgress, he worked as a press aide at the Health Information Center and as a staffer on Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway’s 2010 Senate campaign. He also interned at National Journal’s Hotline and was a sports writer and political columnist at the Kentucky Kernel, the University of Kentucky’s daily student newspaper.

HACK ATTACK BY C A P --

HACK ATTACK BY C A P -- should read bill that came out of house little change to food asst program [ 82% dept ag budget} major is cap to farmers on subsidies

Republicans have become the

Republicans have become the manifestation of Idiocracy.

Yes, at a time when there are

Yes, at a time when there are a greater number of families in poverty ... it makes perfect sense to reduce the number of families that can qualify for food stamps.

So do you feed the kids, pay the heating bill, or gas up the car (assuming that you even own one) so that you can go to work? Take your pick.

. . . Cut, Cut, Cut - you

. . . Cut, Cut, Cut - you want to take the food out of babies mouths ??? In Ludlow, Colorado - a company owned town -.- after they evicted the women and children ( and their families in the dead of winter. . . . ) The order came down from New Hyde Park, NY to the pinkerton guards and they in turn opened fire on defenselss women and children. . . . .
. . . On the web and in the news is a story of a life-guard who left his post to save a drowning man - "which he did save -.- only to be fired by the company that employed him" Cut, Cut, Cut....not covered by company liability insurance.....Cut, Cut, Cut and neither company is named...
...Would you like the argument of how they were taking advantage of the system and milking it for all it is worth ?.?.? ASK the REPUBLICANS -.-HOW MANY FREE PERKS THEY TURNED DOWN......FREE HEALTHCARE....FREE PENSIONS......FREE TRAVEL AND WHO GOLFING AT ST. ANDREW'S THESE DAYS.....OH..OH..OHH THOSE ARE FACT FINDING MISSIONS.......SHH SECRET - MUST DEFEAT THE DEMOCRATS AT ALL COSTS.....SUPER PACS SWIFT BOATS.....PRAISE BE TO THE FREE SPENDING PENTAGON....PRAISE BE TO THE FOREIGN AID -WE GIVE AWAY AS WE HAVE NO JOBS AND NO MONEY - BENEFITS - PENSIONS
...EX. SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON - NEW "SECRET"ARY OF STATE ANNOUNCES DEAL WITH PAKISTAN TO ALLOW THE UNITED STATES TO SUPPLY OUR TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN ( THROUGH PAKISTAN ) . . . . AS THEY WOULD NOT ALLOW THE UNITED STATES TO FLY OVER AFTER 9-11 TILL PROPER FOREIGN AID WAS EXTORTED ( PAID)
DUH supported Bush's invasion - against her constituency's wishes.....
is senator to secretary of state paid in full ?.?.?

And the GOP freaking expects

And the GOP freaking expects people to believe they are "Christians" who feed the poor. Heal the sick, lift up the down and out?

They have believed the devils lie that is "God wants you to be rich" "God wants you to look our for number 1"

Granted people need to make a living, but when you take away peoples opportunities to make a living wage, stick them with a POS of a car, valued at $2000 which probably,wouldn't pass inspection, wouldn't be insured or drivable just to get to a job,(throw in some surcharges for breaking those responsibility laws) then deny them food on top of it.

The GOP - Party of the Cruel - abundance for themselves and alpo for everyone else, the lucky ones that is.

I just wish the 99% and the

I just wish the 99% and the Occupy persons would sign at http://signon.org/sign/take-money-out-of-politics so that we could maintain our Democracy and rid ourselves of the current Plutocracy (government by the wealthy).

What can we expect from

What can we expect from soulless creatures such as the repugnants? Alan Grayson was 100% correct in describing their health plan. "Don't get sick (Don't get poor). If you do get sick (poor), die fast."

Eligibility for food stamps

Eligibility for food stamps requires a person to live a decade below the federal poverty line in gut-wrenching, desolate poverty.

When you look up, you see the underside of the dungeon floor.

GOOD OBAMA Implemented

GOOD OBAMA
Implemented numerous tax cuts for individuals, families and businesses.
The Recovery Act provided a tax cut for 95% of American workers.
The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act extended the payroll tax cut. It prevents working families from losing an average of $40 per paycheck and enables them to keep $1000 in 2012.
Other tax relief helped students, seniors and firs time home buyers..
He signed into law The Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors tax credits, rewarding companies that hire them.
He is ready to reform our tax code to eliminate decades of accumulated loopholes for wealthiest and biggest companies that stack the deck against the middle class.
He is committed to making our tax system fairer and assure all pay a fair share.

Tis a sham that over ten years GE had 81B in profits and paid a 2.3% tax rate.
In four of ten years they got a refund even tho profits over a billion.

Tis a sham that in 2011 Corporations made 1,9789 B in profit and paid 181B or a 9% Tax Rate.
Lowest 20% paid 17.4% of income in federal, state, local taxes. Sad.
It is unfair

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