With the food stamp and farm becoming a “partisan flash point” on the campaign trail, it is worth highlighting why so many conservatives opposed the typically bipartisan bill.
Promised reforms to the food stamp program, which comprises roughly 80 percent of the bill’s total spending, are falling predictably short:
THEN: The conference report lacks serious reforms. While it does close the “heat-and-eat” loophole, it does not contain a repeal of broad-based categorical eligibility and states are able to completely bypass asset tests for food stamp applicants. Additionally, states will be able to continue receiving waivers to undo what minimal work requirements were in place. (Heritage Action, Jan. 2014)
NOW: Cuts to the nation’s food stamp program enacted this year are only affecting four states, far from the sweeping overhaul that Republicans had pushed, an Associated Press review has found. As a result, it’s unclear whether the law will realize the estimated $8.6 billion in savings over 10 years that the GOP had advertised. … Among the 16 states that allow the practice or some form of it, 12 governors have taken steps to avoid the food stamp cuts. (Associated Press, Sep. 2014)
Same goes for the farm portion of the farm bill:
The Washington Post headline said it all: Congress may pass Obama’s Syria proposal — without technically voting on it.
The Post explained:
“[I]n their bid to win support for the Syrian rebel training, White House officials have asked congressional leaders to include the measure on a temporary government funding bill … In other words: Under the scenario that Obama favors, there is no standalone vote on the Syria proposal itself — it would just be written into the bigger bill.”
Even Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) 12%, an enthusiastic supporter of the President’s overall Syria strategy, called the legislative process outlined above the “sneakiest of all maneuvers.”
The debate over the future of the Export-Import Bank can be difficult to follow, in part because proponents of the Bank are often in conflict with one another. Here are the latest examples:
Does Export-Import Bank provide cheap loans?
Tony Fratto, Hamilton Place Strategies: All of you that have been writing that Ex-Im makes cheap loans — they actually make expensive loans. (AEI Debate, July 24, 2014)
Former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH): By allowing American companies, mostly very large ones, to finance the products they want to sell to a foreign company or government at a reduced rate, the Ex-Im Bank in fact represents an American commercial threat to foreign companies. (The Hill, July 28, 2014)
Does the Export-Import Bank create job?
The influx of unaccompanied minors along the southwest border, mostly entering from Central America, is in large part the result of the Obama Administration’s selective enforcement of immigration law. If congressional action is to be more than a face-saving political gesture, it must address the President’s the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“DACA must go,” explains the Heritage Foundation’s James Carafano:
Yesterday, in a speech at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center, House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) N/A% expressed his desire to end the Export-Import Bank, which expires at the end of September. Ryan’s primary point though was that conservatives and Republicans should let Democrats be the party of corporate welfare and cronyism:
“My friend Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) 83% has recently launched a great challenge against the crony capitalist economy, and in particular, against one of its manifestations, the Export-Import Bank. But the bank is just one example of how bureaucratic government is corrupting free enterprise through and through. Conservatives must stop defending this. Cronyism is the Progressives’ project for economic control. Let them defend it.”