From THE NATION (November 3, 2013) —
[I]n 2010, Congress (controlled of course, at the time, by Democrats) passed a bill that took $2.2 billion from SNAP [FOOD STAMPS] and applied the funds to one of Michelle Obama’s pet projects: a healthy lunch initiative for low-income children. This is what created Friday’s abrupt drop in benefits.
At the time, many House Democrats refused to punish food stamp recipients and would not agree to the funding offset, especially since SNAP had already been raided once before to help fund a round of emergency aid to states. This lead to clashes with the White House and phone calls from Michelle Obama . . . . .
Despite heavy lobbying by the first lady, more than 100 House Democrats have balked at approving the Senate’s $4.5 billion version of the nutrition bill because it is funded in part with $2.2 billion in cuts to SNAP, the federal food stamp program. They want assurances from the Obama administration that the funding cuts the Senate approved will be restored in the near future.
“The White House’s preference is to just pass the bill,” said a congressional staff member who spoke on the condition of anonymity while the negotiations are ongoing.
The White House kept promising to “find a different offset in the future,” in the words of a spokesman at the time, and Democrats eventually relented. But no offset was ever found—despite several crisis negotiations that have happened since: the spring 2011 near-shutdown, the summer 2011 debt-ceiling deal, the fiscal cliff of late 2012 and this fall’s dual government shutdown and debt-ceiling faceoff. Democrats extracted numerous policy concessions throughout all this, but solving the so-called “hunger cliff” was not one.
[This is the “rest of the story” as Paul Harvey used to say. The White House would have us believe that the slash & dash to the food program is solely the crime of Wacko Republicans. Not so, Obamacrats and Corporocrats have joined the pile-on the poor with glee. As we have said previously, the difference between Obama and his playmates on the Right is this: the Wackos face you mano y mano, stare you in the eye and threaten to cut your guts out. Obama approaches you with a smile, and then a hug as he whispers how much he feels your pain. He then stabs you in the back. Sure a difference in method but the fact remains both of them are enemies of the working man and woman]