July 14, 2013

CBS host Bob Schieffer on Sunday confronted Republican Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) after his fellow Republicans in the House stripped food stamps from the farm bill.

"You pass a farm bill in the House that gives billions of dollars, much of it to large corporations that own farms," Schieffer noted. "It's almost like welfare for the wealthy."

"But you don't include a dollar for hungry people for food stamps. What kind of message is that?" the CBS host asked.

Kelly explained that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) had not been able to get enough agreement to pass a farm bill with food stamps and so he decided to break the bill apart and fund Supplemental Nutritional Assistant Program (SNAP) in future legislation.

"It made sense to me because we couldn't get agreement on how we should do it," Kelly asserted. "I'm not a politician, I'm an automobile dealer. And my whole life has been sitting down across the table from somebody that actually wanted to get something done and then compromising."

"Do you want to pass money for food stamps?" Schieffer pressed.

"We already have money for food stamps!" Kelly exclaimed. "And what bothers me, Bob, is that one in six Americans right now are on this program. Now either the economy is not growing at the rate that it should or this program is so badly flawed that we're letting too many people in. The sustainability of this is what concerns me."

"You can't keep promising things to people that in the future you know you can't sustain," he added. "I have never talked to one person that says, we don't want to take care of the most vulnerable, we don't want to take care of the people that need it the most. But I have talked to people that said the system's broken, and when we look at what's going on we're wasting -- wasting billions on a program doesn't seem to be lifting people out of poverty, but keep them in a state of poverty. That's not right."

(h/t: Politico)

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