Friday, September 20, 2013

House GOP Passes Deep Cuts in Food Stamps and "Defund Obamacare" C.R. Bills

By Claudio Iván Remeseira | Posted Friday, September 20, 2013, at 10:45 am ET | Last modified September 20, 2013, at 12:11 pm ET

UPDATE: House Passes Continuing Resolution to Fund Government, Gut Obamacare

On Thursday, House Republicans managed to pass a bill cutting spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), popularly known as food stamps, by $39 billion over the next 10 years. If the House bill is transformed in law, up to 3.8 million people could lose their benefits next year. The vote was 217-210, with all Democrats and 15 Republicans voting against the bill [Read who voted for and against the bill] 

The vote is a confirmation of the the clout Tea Party conservatives have in the House, but it also foretells trouble for the GOP in the eyes of the general public--particularly progressives and minority voters--as Chuck Todd and team of MSNBC's analysts wrote this morning:
 House Republicans went out on a limb to cut food-stamp funding and institute plenty of reforms. They received nothing but bad press (“House Republicans pass deep cuts in food stamps,” per the New York Times’ headline; “House passes GOP plan to slash food stamp funding,” says the Washington Post; “Hundreds of thousands of Texans would lose food stamps under House bill, advocates say,” goes the Dallas Morning News ). They only reinforced the party’s negative stereotype that it isn’t compassionate in dealing with the nation’s poor. And they face the prospect of getting NOTHING in return; after all, the Senate will most likely restore the food-stamp cuts.

But as Todd and his colleagues immediately point out, the vote also offers a window into how Republicans are proceeding on the C.R. (Continuing Resolution), which includes a provision to defund Obamacare:
It’s messy, and it’s hurting the party’s brand. But it’s the way how Speaker John Boehner can move the legislation out of the House. The question is if House Republicans can get something in return for it.

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