The farm bill was defeated in part because they got fewer yea votes out of Democrats than they were hoping for. This happened, according to moderate Democrat Collin Peterson of Minnesota, because of a last-second amendment from Eric Cantor that sought to impose sterner work requirements on recipients of food stamps. Democratic whip Steny Hoyer says it took a bipartisan bill and turned it into a partisan bill.
This was just a cat-piss mean amendment that you have to think was almost designed to push Democrats away. Fraud in the food-stamp program (known by the acronym SNAP) is a frightening 1 percent, according to Think Progress. And existing work requirements are pretty stringent already. If you live in Cantor's Virginia and want food stamps, here's what you have to do, according to the state's web site:
If you are age 18 to 50 and able to work, you may be subject to a work requirement in order to receive SNAP. This requirement would limit the number of months for which you could receive SNAP to three months in a 36 month period. After you receive SNAP for three months, you may be able to receive three additional months if you complete certain work related requirements. You may be exempt from this work requirement if you are currently working or participating in an approved work program; responsible for the care of a child; pregnant; medically certified as unable to work; meet one of several work registration exemption reasons; or live in an exempt locality.
I can't find what these "certain work requirements" are, but it seems to me that having re-meet them every three months provides a pretty constant check on people and meets a high standard of being responsible with the taxpayers' money.
It's just amazing to me the way they keep finding new ways to kick poor people. One, deregulate everything so that banks can start placing bets agaist their own securities. Two, destroy the economy, so that millions more people lose their jobs and have to go on food stamps in the first place. Three, decide that poor people have to pay the penalty for all this financial hanky-panky, and cut the federal programs they depend on to the bone. Four, cut food stamps even more, and make the recipients work more.
"Waste, fraud, and abuse" describe Eric Cantor's contribution to this nation, his character, and his attitude toward people who aren't rich.