The House farm bill would kick families off nutritional assistance, while giving subsidies to billionaires. Every House Republican running for Senate voted to pass it.
On Thursday, every House Republican running for Senate faced a moral test as the partisan and controversial 2018 farm bill came up for a vote.
Every single one of them voted to pass it.
The final roll call for the bill was 213-211, with every Democrat and 20 Republicans voting against. But Reps. Martha McSally (R-AZ), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Jim Renacci (R-OH), Lou Barletta (R-PA), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) — all of whom are seeking Senate seats in their respective states — voted yes.
The bill, championed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, is breathtakingly vicious to poor families and children. It would impose strict work requirements on up to 7 million food stamp recipients — a cruel and pointless extra regulation on the poor. It also restricts eligibility in a way that could kick as many as 400,000 households off of nutritional assistance, and thousands of kids off of free or low-cost school lunch programs.
And just like the GOP tax scam, the House farm bill shifts money to the rich. Another provision in the bill effectively guts means-testing for federal farm subsidies, letting billionaires claim extra money even as struggling households see cuts.
Even some right-wing organizations have criticized it, like the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity, who decried the bill as "rife with corporate welfare." Some key Senate Republicans like Pat Roberts and Chuck Grassley also want some of the bill's extreme provisions rolled back.
The House Republicans running for Senate, on the other hand, are openly proud of their vote.
Barletta, who is running against Democratic Sen. Bob Casey in Pennsylvania, boasted in a press release that the nutritional cuts will help Americans "move up the economic ladder." And Cramer, who is facing off against Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, claimed cutting food aid for the poor will "affirm the dignity of work-capable adults."
The public need not speculate on how these lawmakers will vote if they become senators. Their callous assault on the less fortunate is visible in their House record for all to see.