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Friday, September 6, 2013

House Republicans want food stamp cuts that would affect estimated 43,000 Arkansans

Posted By on Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 12:36 PM

I mentioned yesterday the study that showed Arkansas lead the nation in the percent of people in hunger. Food insecurity it's called.

I mentioned that U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton voted against the last farm bill because it included funding for the supplemental nutrition program generically known as food stamps. Cotton wants to cut nutrition spending and cut it deep.

The House Republican leadership also feels pain about feeding poor people. Reports the Center for Budget Priorities:

Shortly before Congress adjourned for its August recess, House Republican leaders disclosed that they plan to move a bill in September that cuts SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program) by about $40 billion over ten years — double the cut in the House Agriculture Committee farm bill and almost nine times the SNAP cut in the Senate-passed farm bill. The new bill reportedly will couple the SNAP and other nutrition provisions of the farm bill House leaders unsuccessfully sought to pass in June with two new provisions designed to cut $20 billion more in benefits — by eliminating states’ ability to secure waivers for high-unemployment areas from SNAP’s severe rule that limits benefits for jobless adults without children to just three months out of every three years.

House Republican leaders haven’t formally released the language of their plan, but the information they have made available makes clear that the proposal will be very harsh, denying SNAP to at least four million to six million low-income people, including some of the nation’s poorest adults, as well as many low-income children, seniors, and families that work for low wages.

The question about Cotton is not whether he favors this cut. It is if he thinks it goes deep and mean enough. It's mean. It cuts off all aid to a family where parents haven't been able to find work. Kids? Let them eat dirt.

Cuts have consequences. At the link, you'll find the state-by-state impact of such a plan. The estimate is that 43,000 people in Arkansas aged 18-50 would be cut off. Is that enough for Tom Cotton? Or does he want more?

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