Republican lawmakers are on the defensive as the country heads into the holiday season, with cutbacks in food stamps stressing needy families while Congress debates how much more to cut from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). “Which of your constituents do you think should go hungry?” asks a holiday card electronically delivered to members of Congress this week. It points out that the proposed cuts mean “less food and more hunger for millions of low income seniors, veterans, working families with children and disabled Americans.”
At the same time, assistance to farmers, traditionally coupled in the same bill with SNAP, appears to be weathering the GOP’s budget-cutting knife just fine. “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat,” said Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN), invoking the Bible to explain his vote earlier this year to cut food stamps while calling for increased crop subsidies for farmers. His family farm received more than $3.5 million in federal money over the years, making him the poster boy for 33 members of Congress who voted to cut food stamps, a program that helps the least among us, while having no qualms about accepting federal largesse for their farm businesses.