Congress to nation: 'Let them eat cake'
Writing about the never-ending scandals, absurd tweets and tricky shenanigans of Donald Trump and his minions has become an almost intolerable burden. Reading about them, probably makes most people feel the same way. Ironically, this is good news.
After all, the midterm elections are around the corner, and voting is a great way to put in their place the White House trickster and the spineless politicians who enable him with their cowardice and pettiness. Not Robert Mueller’s investigation, voting.
Meanwhile, they keep trying to govern by cruelty, greed and inhumanity, as proven once again by the recent approval by the House (it is controlled by the GOP, in case you forget) of a farm bill so cruel that it amounts to sentencing millions of Americans to hunger and malnutrition.
“The passage of this morally bankrupt bill further exposes the steps that Republicans are willing to take to penalize the vulnerable,” said Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY). “This bill’s drastic cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, would rip food from the mouths of babies, send kids to school with empty stomachs and punish hardworking families and seniors.”
After noting that over 41 million people across the country (a population larger than the combined populations of Texas and New England) depend on food stamps to put food on the table, Velázquez added: “It is a particularly sickening irony that, the very same week Congressional Republicans scramble – ineffectively – to address the Trump Administration’s shameful, cruel policies that rip migrant children from their parents’ arms, House Republicans passed a bill taking food from the mouths of American children. At times like this, it is bewildering that Republicans continue attempting to claim the mantle of the party of ‘family values.’”
More than bewildering, it is hypocritical to a perverse degree, particularly since at last count 565 children, including 24 who are younger than 5, are still separated from their parents and kept in detention facilities more than a month after the court-mandated deadline for reunification. Furthermore, 43 percent of U.S. households can’t cover their most basic necessities, as a United Way ALICE Project study recently found.
According to the study, and reported by CNN, 51 million households across the U.S. do not earn enough to be able to pay for housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone every month.
“The figure includes the 16.1 million households living in poverty, as well as the 34.7 million families that the United Way has dubbed ALICE -- Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. This group makes less than what's needed ‘to survive in the modern economy,’” the study also found that about 66 percent of jobs in the US pay less than $20 an hour.
Among those who work at low-paying jobs, and consequently populate much of the ALICE category, are child care workers, home health aides, office assistants and store clerks, the study noted.
A heartbreaking reality about which the president and his party don’t give a damn.
In a strange twist of luck, advocates believe the gap between the House and the Senate bills is so wide that reconciling them will be a hopeless task. This would open the doors for, as Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America said, “a new Congress that, next January, would start from scratch and passes a progressive bill that slashes hunger, aids small farmers, creates jobs, protects the environment, boosts nutrition, improves food safety, and benefits consumers.”
Let’s make sure Berg’s optimism becomes reality by voting on November 6.