A controversial food stamps cut is being hailed by conservatives as a win and decried by progressives as a cruel and toothless “reform” that does more harm than good.
While the food stamps cut passed the House yesterday in a wholly partisan 217-210 vote, Rep. Jackie Speier was among those who argued strongly against sanctioning the poor.
Speier called out her Republican colleagues for dining on “steak, vodka, and even caviar” on the taxpayer’s dime as they slashed funding to food insecure Americans — armed with physical examples of her high-ticket items.
The Dem said that her district has “about 4,000 families who are on food stamps, but some of my colleagues have thousands and thousands more.” She went on, slamming GOP efforts to cut food stamps and defund SNAP:
“Yet, [Republicans] somehow feel like crusaders, like heroes when they vote to cut food stamps. Some of these same members travel to foreign countries under the guise of official business. They dine at lavish restaurants, eating steak, vodka and even caviar. They receive money to do this. That’s right, they don’t pay out of pocket for these meals.”
Speier shamed her colleagues, continuing:
“One member was given $127.41 a day for food on his trip to Argentina. He probably had a fair amount of steak… Another member was given $3,588 for food and lodging during a six-day trip to Russia. He probably drank a fair amount of vodka and probably even had some caviar. That particular member has 21,000 food stamp recipients in his district. One of those people who is on food stamps could live a year on what this congressman spent on food and lodging for six days.”
The Rep. added:
“Another 20 members made a trip to Dublin, Ireland. They got $166 a day for food. These members didn’t pay a dime. They received almost $200 for a single meal only for themselves. Yet, for them the idea of helping fellow Americans spend less than $5 a day makes their skin crawl. The families of veterans, of farmers, of the disabled, of the working poor are not visible to them, not even when they are their own constituents.”
The food stamps cut vote heads now to the Senate, but the campaign on the left to preserve the program continues.