Dems to Secretary Vilsack: Could we get a delay on the new cuts to food stamps?

posted at 3:21 pm on February 17, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Well, heck — while they’re on a gigantic running-around-Congress tear anyway, why not delay effects of the law that Congress just passed and President Obama just signed two weeks ago? Via the NYDN:

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and 71 other congressional Democrats are asking the agriculture secretary to delay a new law cutting food stamps for hundreds of thousands of Americans.

“Our states need time to adjust their policies to accommodate this drastic cut and roll out the changes seamlessly,” the lawmakers say in a letter they plan to send Tuesday to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Gillibrand lined up the lawmakers to sign off on the letter, which asks Vilsack to delay until next fall a provision in the massive farm bill Congress passed this month that cuts $8 billion in food stamp aid.

That $8 billion spending cut, by the way, is going to come over ten years and amounts to a barely one percent reduction to the federal food stamp program’s budget, and according to the farm bill, the USDA is supposed to start phasing them in next month. These Democrats, evidently, are having difficulty abiding by that “drastic” cut for the sake of our national budget, despite the noticeably absent “stimulus” effect Secretary Vilsack once promised would result from the tens of millions more Americans added to the food-stamp rolls during President Obama’s tenure.

Which, funnily enough, seems to have a lot in common with the other “stimulus” effects we were promised would push the economy toward “recovery.” Five years later, how is it possible that so many Democrats like Gillibrand are simultaneously arguing that President Obama’s spending endeavors have helped add jobs and wealth to the economy, but that anything less than maintaining the recently-enlarged food-stamp status quo is flat-out unacceptable? Does that seem at all inconsistent to anyone else? Via the WSJ:

Democrats and Republicans used the five-year anniversary of the 2009 stimulus law to debate the measure’s effectiveness, a feud that highlights how the deep divisions over the connection between federal spending and economic growth continue to challenge policy makers. …

The White House on Monday released a 70-page report that said the law “created or saved an average of 1.6 million jobs a year for four years,” and raised the country’s gross domestic product by between 2% and 3% from late 2009 through mid-2011. …

On one of the most polarizing points, the White House in its report said the law “had at most a minimal impact on the long-run debt,” arguing that the economic growth caused by the law offset or “eliminated” the costs. …

“If you recall five years ago, the notion was that if the government spent all this money—that, by the way, was borrowed—that somehow the economy would begin to grow and create jobs,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), in a video message released Monday morning. “Well, of course, it clearly failed.”

You can say that again.


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Wait a minute didn’t they all just vote for this thing?

gophergirl on February 17, 2014 at 3:23 PM

What’s next, a waiver of the law of gravity?

rbj on February 17, 2014 at 3:28 PM

The new normal, absolute political expediency on all laws.

It isn’t about us, it is 100% about the ruling class.

Lean Forward

Murphy9 on February 17, 2014 at 3:29 PM

In the near future, there will be no laws. Only regulations, written by unelected nobodies, and subject to any kind of executive order the prez wants to do.

And the prez will issue most all his orders in secret. Maybe all of them. Discretion his.

Sting on February 17, 2014 at 3:34 PM

It’s got to suck to have your new talking points get refuted by your old ones. Old: More unemployment benefits boost the economy. New: Cutting benefits will hurt the economy as it struggles to recover. Both are arguing for more g’ment bennies.

It works for energy too. Old: We must incorporate green sustainable energy in order to maintain this industrial economy. New: We cannot tap our own natural resources or the consumption will destroy us. Whether by starvation or gluttony, both are advocating decreasing carbon based energy availability.

DanMan on February 17, 2014 at 3:34 PM

The sky is falling.

Tater Salad on February 17, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Why even bother asking the ag. secretary when all you have to do is tell the president.

antipc on February 17, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Regarding the stimulus report: Accurately measuring “created” jobs is difficult enough, but including “saved” jobs is just to mislead and overstate its effectiveness, as I suppose we all know…

Entrephil on February 17, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Remember the good old days of lectures about THE LAW OF THE LAND?

Happy Nomad on February 17, 2014 at 3:40 PM

They should hurry because the Twin Cities is starting to resemble Birkenau, walking skeletons wandering the streets and falling dead from malnutrition, brand new I-phones clutched in their scrawny hands and the latest Air Jordans on their claw-like feet.

Bishop on February 17, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Ridiculous…

OmahaConservative on February 17, 2014 at 3:43 PM

You’ll have to pardon liberals. They’re very bad at math. Collect $1 in taxes, spend $3, and you’ve just created 1,000 well paying jobs.

See how easy it is? You just pull numbers out of your ass.

GarandFan on February 17, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Pharaoh Obama,”so it shall be written,so it shall be done.”

ConstantineXI on February 17, 2014 at 3:46 PM

So now even the Agriculture Secretary trumps Congress? Can the White House janitor change law too?

ctmom on February 17, 2014 at 3:46 PM

What’s next, a waiver of the law of gravity?

rbj on February 17, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Don’t do that! Guam would float away.

- Congressman Hank Johnson (Dumbass-GA)

Occams Stubble on February 17, 2014 at 3:51 PM

The White House on Monday released a 70-page report
=======================================================

Zeke Miller ‏@ZekeJMiller 1h

WH report on the stimulus http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/cea_arra_report.pdf
Expand
==========

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/cea_arra_report.pdf

canopfor on February 17, 2014 at 3:44 PM

canopfor on February 17, 2014 at 3:52 PM

I have to ask(even though I know the answer is irrelevant in Obama’s America), but is this legal? Can a law be delayed without another vote?

Doughboy on February 17, 2014 at 3:53 PM

“Our states need time to adjust their policies to accommodate this drastic cut and roll out the changes seamlessly,”…

…”Any time after the midterm elections should do just fine”.

Oxymoron on February 17, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Well, heck — while they’re on a gigantic running-around-Congress tear anyway, why not delay effects of the law that Congress just passed and President Obama just signed two weeks ago?

All the money paying for the food stamps is tax money so with a little rewrite and legislating from the bench the Chief Traitor John Benedict Roberts will deem any Obama administration executive action legal and correct.

RJL on February 17, 2014 at 3:55 PM

So now even the Agriculture Secretary trumps Congress? Can the White House janitor change law too?

ctmom on February 17, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Would anyone do anything to stop him if he did?

Unless Congress is willing to stand up and confront this nonsense then it will continue. Their cowardice is a large part of the problem.

sharrukin on February 17, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Wait a minute didn’t they all just vote for this thing?

gophergirl on February 17, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Yes, they did. But that only means it’s time to “adjust” the law to their liking.

Patriot Vet on February 17, 2014 at 3:58 PM

“Our states need time to adjust their policies to accommodate this drastic cut and roll out the changes seamlessly,”…

…”Any time after the midterm elections should do just fine”.

Oxymoron on February 17, 2014 at 3:54 PM

I’m surprised they didn’t ask to delay it in “blue states”, implement it asap in the “red states”.

Flora Duh on February 17, 2014 at 4:00 PM

71 Democrats in Congress: Please ignore the law that we just passed.

BTW, an $8 billion cut over 10 years, or $800 million per year, for 47 million people on food stamps, comes out to $17.02 per person per year, or $1.42 per month. If each food-stamp recipient worked 12 minutes per month at minimum wage, they could make up the difference.

Boo freakin’ hoo.

Steve Z on February 17, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Wait a minute didn’t they all just vote for this thing?

gophergirl on February 17, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Today’s “progressives” refuse to be mired in the past. They “lean forward” with pride and never look back. There are no problems or consequences, only opportunities for new social engineering.

Didn’t you see how they have so moved on from ObamaCare? It is only us Republican who continue to dwell in the past.

Adjoran on February 17, 2014 at 4:07 PM

I am sick and tired of being in line at the supermarket and watching them unload full carts with the choicest cuts of meat while I am buying budget chicken and cheaper cuts of meat. They pay with EBT while I pay with cash…

OmahaConservative on February 17, 2014 at 4:08 PM

maf is hard Steve Z

DanMan on February 17, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Democrats and Republicans used the five-year anniversary of the 2009 stimulus law to debate the measure’s effectiveness,
===================================================

Despite stimulus, middle class still struggles
By Mitch McConnell
February 17, 2014
*****************

Five years ago Monday, President Barack Obama signed the signature economic proposal of his presidency, saying that the passage of the $787 billion economic stimulus package heralded the “the beginning of the end” of the Great Recession.

The president told a Denver audience that he was “keeping the American Dream alive in our time.” But for millions of Americans, he made things worse.

It is now clear that bold White House predictions about stimulus jobs “saved and created” were just a prelude to later pledges about keeping your doctors and falling premiums.

Equally maddening has been the president’s unwavering belief that an economic recovery could be engineered by Washington’s central planners. It’s as if he isn’t aware of the cynicism engendered by a stimulus bill that seemed to have been designed not so much on the basis of real need or an empirical study of what would actually help people get back on their feet, but on ideology and political connections.

From the tens of billions that have been poured into green energy to an executive order that basically excludes non-unionized workers from major construction projects, for many Americans the stimulus looked more like political payback than a jobs bill — all compliments of the taxpayer.

Meanwhile, middle class incomes have continued to shrink, making it even harder for millions in the middle class to keep up with bills. The cost of college tuition and healthcare are rising faster than inflation, and millions of Americans have received cancellation notices from their health insurers. Countless others now live with the worry that their new plan may not cover the doctors they know and trust.

No wonder so many people now feel as if no one in Washington is looking out for them.

The real tragedy here is that none of this was necessary. Republicans have always been willing to work with the president on reforms that would have broad bipartisan support, and, we believe, a far better impact on the lives and livelihoods of ordinary Americans. Things like paring back regulations, tapping into vast domestic energy resources through projects like the Keystone XL pipeline, and putting the nation’s finances on a more solid footing, just to name a few.

To some, it may seem like the two parties in Washington are locked in some never-ending debate about the real unemployment rate versus the official unemployment rate, about whether to raise the minimum wage or extend emergency unemployment insurance one more time, or when exactly the debt limit will be breached. In recent days, we have even debated whether fewer people holding down a job as a result of Obamacare is a good or a bad thing.

But to focus on the day-to-day debates is to miss a larger point. It’s to forget that the record expansion of all these government programs is proof that more Americans are in need of help today than they were in 2009; that the president’s policies have failed the very people they were intended to help. If the stimulus had been the great success its supporters predicted, we would not be having these debates.

It’s that simple.

Far from establishing the firm foundation and middle-class renewal that the president promised, nearly seven out of 10 Americans now think the country is worse off than it was when the stimulus was signed. The labor participation rate is at its lowest level since the Carter era, and confidence in government has been dropping like a stone.

If the goal was to make things better, a clear majority of Americans would say it didn’t.

An even sharper verdict comes from the nine out of 10 Americans who say the president should make a “top priority” of creating jobs this year. Such overwhelming majorities wouldn’t feel that way if the stimulus had led to the kind of “long-term growth and prosperity” that the president initially envisioned.

Five years later, the stimulus is no success to celebrate. It is a tragedy to lament.
=================

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/02/16/despite-stimulus-middle-class-still-struggles/

canopfor on February 17, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Steve Z on February 17, 2014 at 4:04 PM

maff iz hord…

ladyingray on February 17, 2014 at 4:11 PM

New face of food stamps.

nazo311 on February 17, 2014 at 4:12 PM

The inmates are running the asylum.

jukin3 on February 17, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Yes, they did. But that only means it’s time to “adjust” the law to their liking.

Patriot Vet on February 17, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Same bill also looted military retirements. Makes you wonder just how serious these Congresscritters are when the make a law.

Happy Nomad on February 17, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Wait a minute didn’t they all just vote for this thing?

gophergirl on February 17, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Yes, typical of the Democrats – make a deal and then re-neg on any compromises (before the ink is even dry). And, they expect us to trust them on amnesty?

bw222 on February 17, 2014 at 4:32 PM

I wonder how those cuts scheduled for 8-10 years from now in the budget “Paulie Boy” Ryan worked out with Patty Murray will pan out. Ryan gets “jobbed” by the dumbest VP in history and the dumbest woman in the Senate and there are those who still claim he’s a genius.

bw222 on February 17, 2014 at 4:35 PM

I am sick and tired of being in line at the supermarket and watching them unload full carts with the choicest cuts of meat while I am buying budget chicken and cheaper cuts of meat. They pay with EBT while I pay with cash…

OmahaConservative on February 17, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Racist… with a side order of homophobia.

307wolverine on February 17, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Remember the good old days of lectures about THE LAW OF THE LAND?

Happy Nomad on February 17, 2014 at 3:40 PM

And Bush was the one shredding the Constitution? Good times. Good times.

307wolverine on February 17, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Welcome to Animal Farm.

MJBrutus on February 17, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and 71 other congressional Democrats are asking the agriculture secretary to delay a new law cutting food stamps for hundreds of thousands of Americans.

“Our states need time to adjust their policies to accommodate this drastic cut and roll out the changes seamlessly,” the lawmakers say in a letter they plan to send Tuesday to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Gillibrand lined up the lawmakers to sign off on the letter, which asks Vilsack to delay until next fall a provision in the massive farm bill Congress passed this month that cuts $8 billion in food stamp aid.

Seriously, why doesn’t she just call Obama up and tell him to delay it? Delaying laws he signed is about the only friggin experience he has.

Johnnyreb on February 17, 2014 at 4:51 PM

The new, “Draconian” food stamp allotment for a family of 4 will be more than what my family of 5 budgets for food each month.

Drastic!

Herod on February 17, 2014 at 4:52 PM

As of now, all legislation will be written in invisible ink, to be filled in as deemed appropriate by the regulatory bureaucrats and assorted other elites who know better what the laws actually should be.

Can we just dispense with Congress already? They’re a bunch of supine, invisible, useless rent-seekers.

/sarcasm and disgust mixed together

xNavigator on February 17, 2014 at 4:56 PM

BTW, an $8 billion cut over 10 years, or $800 million per year, for 47 million people on food stamps, comes out to $17.02 per person per year, or $1.42 per month. If each food-stamp recipient worked 12 minutes per month at minimum wage, they could make up the difference.
Boo freakin’ hoo.
Steve Z on February 17, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Your statement edited for the Lo-Info 10-second soundbite:

“BTW, an $8 billion cut over 10 years, or $800 million per year, for 47 million” *BZZZT* NUMBER OVERLOAD – INFO INPUT EXCEEDED – I’M SORRY THAT’S ALL TIME WE HAVE

Marcola on February 17, 2014 at 4:58 PM

I’m surprised they didn’t ask to delay it in “blue states”, implement it asap in the “red states”.

Flora Duh on February 17, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Well he did say “Our states need time to adjust”.

LOL!

Oxymoron on February 17, 2014 at 5:02 PM

71 Democrats in Congress: Please ignore the law that we just passed.

BTW, an $8 billion cut over 10 years, or $800 million per year, for 47 million people on food stamps, comes out to $17.02 per person per year, or $1.42 per month. If each food-stamp recipient worked 12 minutes per month at minimum wage, they could make up the difference.

Boo freakin’ hoo.

Steve Z on February 17, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Or they could just settle for a couple of store brand items, instead of buying everything top of the line brand name.

Oxymoron on February 17, 2014 at 5:05 PM

As of now, all legislation will be written in invisible ink, to be filled in as deemed appropriate by the regulatory bureaucrats and assorted other elites who know better what the laws actually should be.

Can we just dispense with Congress already? They’re a bunch of supine, invisible, useless rent-seekers.

/sarcasm and disgust mixed together

xNavigator on February 17, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Even better, laws in the future will be passed in the form of Mad-Libs. Monetary values, who’s affected, and when, will all be left blank.

Oxymoron on February 17, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Move over Hillary, here comes Gillibrand.

mjbrooks3 on February 17, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Might as well replace the law with Madlibs, fill in the blanks as you go along…with pencil.

jnelchef on February 17, 2014 at 5:15 PM

All I have to say is, If I had an EBT card, I could afford bacon. In fact, if I had an EBT card, I might not notice the price was way higher. Having a buffer against a price increase…wish I had one.
I miss bacon.

marybel on February 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Great minds think alike Oxy!

jnelchef on February 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM


Vilsack, as Iowa governor,
took a policy of restoring the voting rights of felons through an application process, based on merit, to restoring voting rights to many thousands of ex-cons on a blanket basis.

He created lots of new Democrat voters that day. So I am betting he is A-OK with any executive action.

sonof1073rd on February 17, 2014 at 5:18 PM

What’s next, a waiver of the law of gravity?

rbj on February 17, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Next, another handful of Republicans realize that Democratics and the REB can never be trusted to enforce parts of a bill on illegal immigration that they don’t like.

slickwillie2001 on February 17, 2014 at 5:22 PM

All I have to say is, If I had an EBT card, I could afford bacon. In fact, if I had an EBT card, I might not notice the price was way higher. Having a buffer against a price increase…wish I had one.
I miss bacon.

marybel on February 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

You and me both, darlin’

OmahaConservative on February 17, 2014 at 5:27 PM

So now even the Agriculture Secretary trumps Congress? Can the White House janitor change law too?

ctmom on February 17, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Would anyone do anything to stop him if he did?

Unless Congress is willing to stand up and confront this nonsense then it will continue. Their cowardice is a large part of the problem.

sharrukin on February 17, 2014 at 3:55 PM

It’s the Senate that’s the enabler of this ongoing Constitutional damning by the Obama Admin. The House majority, Repubs, can write and issue legislation but the Senate, under Dem majority, simply banishes the efforts in the need to protect and continue to enable the current crooked Admin and the Dem party.

We’re at a place in our government where there is no remaining Balance of Powers, in and of itself a damnation of the Constitution, but look at who prevents any balance: the Left, Reid, Obama and Admin.

Lourdes on February 17, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Seriously, why doesn’t she just call Obama up and tell him to delay it? Delaying laws he signed is about the only friggin experience he has.

Johnnyreb on February 17, 2014 at 4:51 PM


just call Obama up and tell him to delay it? Delaying laws he signed is about the only friggin experience he has.

Heh. Well said.

Lourdes on February 17, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Remember the good old days of lectures about THE LAW OF THE LAND?

Happy Nomad on February 17, 2014 at 3:40 PM
And Bush was the one shredding the Constitution? Good times. Good times.

307wolverine on February 17, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Our children’s children (if you’re 40-something like me) will be fighting a Second Civil War.

I wish them the very best of luck, the future of this nation will be in their hands…..

Fathom on February 17, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Don’t do that! Guam would float away.

- Congressman Hank Johnson (Dumbass-GA)

Occams Stubble on February 17, 2014 at 3:51 PM

We’ll put a couple of rocks on it.

rbj on February 17, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Hey, I have an idea……….. Let’s postpone the 2014 election!

Herb on February 17, 2014 at 7:42 PM

I’ll let you postpone welfare cuts if you don’t postpone throwing Obama in jail.
How can any government allow such fraud and waste in the disbursement of our hard earned dollars? They hand out money like it grows on trees. The thing that pisses me off is that they know there is rampant fraud, yet do nothing to protect me from it. All because the ones leeching off of taxpayers, vote liberal. I’m done with you criminals in DC.

F_This on February 17, 2014 at 9:04 PM