(Picture courtesy of davyll at flickr.com.)
While all the major media outlets were carrying news about Rep. Weiner’s penis, the House adopted projected Agriculture Budget cuts that will seriously diminish the U.S. support for women and children if they prevail. Although there were several – well, approaching 20 – members of the right who declined to add their vote, the measure passed with one Dem. joining in the irresponsible measure to reduce spending on needy for nutrition, by support of farmers that contribute their products and are repaid.
As mentioned yesterday, these cuts reflect raises in the Pentagon budget while lowering assistance not only to WIC (Women, Infants and Children) nutrition grants. They are another blow to the very victims produced by the excesses the right wing has brought about by its deregulation of the financial industry and its disapproval of any and all measures to return a rightful wage to working people, and to any benefits they could profit from. “Nutrition didn’t drive our economy into the ditch. Nutrition didn’t keep banks from extending loans,” (GA congressman John) Lewis maintained. “Now they’re going after the babies…They (the babies) didn’t overextend our credit card.”
The measures were described yesterday;
The Republican spending bill that pays for the nation’s food and farm programs would cut the Women, Infants and Children program, which offers food aid and educational support for low-income mothers and their children, by $868 million, a 13 percent from current spending. It would also cut an international food assistance program that provides emergency aid and agricultural development by more than $450 million, or a third of the program’s budget.
Conservatives sought to deepen those cuts already in the House bill by offering amendments that would further slash the food aid, scale back efforts to promote U.S. exports abroad and cut in half agricultural research and statistics programs. The chamber rejected 12 separate GOP amendments proposing the cuts.
One of the rejected amendments was by Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., and would have cut $82.5 million for breastfeeding assistance for low-income mothers – aid that is part of the Women, Infants and Children program. Foxx said that though she believes the benefits of breastfeeding are proven, “coaching women on breastfeeding is not the role of Washington.”
Showing the strains of budget-cutting, Republicans in charge of the debate struggled to keep their colleagues from decimating what they said were important programs paid for in the bill while also praising them for trying to cut the deficit. At one point, Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston, the chairman of the House subcommittee that wrote the bill, called the legislation a “card house” and said making sure the cuts did not go too far was a delicate balance.
Republicans have so far been unwilling to offer up farm subsidy cuts to help reduce spending.
Like many of her offerings, the cut to a proven good program was typical of the aggressively ignorant Rep. Foxx. She also opposes public education, since in her suburban community high performance is not produced by spending.
A highlight of the day was the introduction by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, (R-TN) of her own idea, an amendment that would have cut $.05 from every dollar for every program under the Agriculture Department. A colleague rose to respond to this when she had finished, with a chart of how much authority the Committee on Agriculture has to do this, showing that discretionary programs which they can actually cut are a small number of programs under the Agriculture department. Her amendment is nonsense. She was presented with a copy of the chart, hopefully so that she can learn about what the House can and can’t do.
The appeal to right wing voters that is obviously attached to dumb and uninformed representatives seems to occur in highest levels among the female representatives they elect. When Palin rings those bells and shoots those guns, and wolves, it makes the right cling to them all the more tightly because they’ve given proof of their inanity.
With this kind of representation, wingnuts show ever more clearly that they are just not functional in the realm of democratic, elected, government.