House Passes $39 Billion Cut In Food-aid Programs

(Colby Ware/special to The Baltimore Sun / July 29, 2012) Also By Hugo Martin September 22, 2013, 10:00 a.m. The food truck craze that has swept the nation will soon roll up to Los Angeles International Airport. No, airport security wont allow food trucks to pull to the curb of the terminal. Instead, an airport concession operator plans to install the shell of a food truck inside of Terminal 4. The fake truck will be outfitted inside with grills, pots, pans and other equipment to serve food. Starting Nov. 1, the food truck will be operated by food truck chefs based in Los Angeles, who will rotate in once a year or so. This is our way to help bring people with local talent to offer their food at the airport, said Rich Bennett, senior director of operations for HMSHost, a concession operator at Los Angeles International Airport. Meanwhile, Long Beach Airport is one of a handful of airports across the country that has allowed food trucks to park at its cellphone parking lots to dish out chow to drivers waiting to pick up friends and family members. The weekly food truck program, called Truckn Tuesdays, was originally a summer event held the third Tuesday of each month. But it has become so popular that the airport plans to continue it indefinitely. Passengers, employees and those waiting in the area are enjoying it, said airport spokeswoman Kerry Gerot. ALSO:

Jason Greenslate, Food Stamp Surfer, Responds To The Haters

It’s also a family meal. A key component of Farm Aid concerts this year’s is taking place Saturday in Saratoga Springs is the food, which comes through Farm Aid’s Homegrown Concessions. It was started six years ago to create new markets for family farmers. Vendors, which include local food-service outlets, as well as national brands such as Chipotle and Amy’s Organic, must meet Farm Aid’s criteria for sourcing the ingredients in their food, from organic flour in the panini to free-ranging, antibiotic-free hogs on the barbecue grill. Even the cotton candy has a family farm origin, made from maple syrup produced in the Catskills. “Farm Aid’s mission is about family farmers, and economic opportunity for family farmers is a really big priority of ours,” said Glenda Yoder, associate director of Farm Aid. “We also support good farming practices and rewarding farmers for those practices. So our Homegrown criteria call for food that is sourced from family farms that meet an ecological standard, and that returns a fair price to the farmer.” Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Dave Matthews and John Mellencamp lead the star-studded lineup this year, along with Jack Johnson, Carlene Carter, Toad the Wet Sprocket and about 10 other artists. The annual concert is the chief moneymaker for the Farm Aid organization Nelson co-founded in 1985 and leads as president. The beneficiaries of the organization’s year-round efforts are always featured prominently at the shows, with a Homegrown Village providing concert-goers a chance to meet local farmers, learn agrarian skills, and eat food from vendors who meet strict criteria set by Farm Aid. “We talk about saving the family farmer, but the fact is, it’s the family farmer who will save us all,” Nelson said at a media event before the gates opened at noon Saturday. Matthews gave a shout-out to activists wearing anti-fracking T-shirts at the media event, which was also open to many farmers, vendors and volunteers. “Don’t frack our farmlands,” Matthew said, to loud applause. Several anti-fracking groups from New York and Pennsylvania had a booth at the event, calling for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to continue the state’s moratorium on shale gas development that began in 2008.

Fight Over Food Stamps Has Many Complexities

Those changes would increase whats expected to be a decline in food stamp participation over the next 10 years. The CBO forecasts a roughly 30 percent decline in food-stamp participation over the next 10 years, to 34 million people in fiscal year 2023 from 48 million in fiscal 2014, if current policies dont change. Lottery Winners The Republican measure would also block lottery winners from receiving food stamps. It also doesnt extend a stimulus program that increased benefits, set to expire later this year. The bill will bring more integrity to the program, Representative Kristi Noem, a South Dakota Republican, said in an interview. When you look at the fact that this program was initiated and started to help those in need for a short period of time, this program will certainly do that after the reforms we put in place today. When food aid is discussed on Capitol Hill , the issue is entwined with farm subsidies because since the 1970s the two types of programs have been combined in a single piece of legislation, marrying the interests of rural and urban lawmakers. The Senate wants to continue that marriage. Cantor and other House Republicans prefer to deal with food aid for the poor separately from subsidies for agriculture. The House bill sets food and farm subsidies on different authorization timelines, a move that would permanently divorce them. Senate Bill The Senate passed a bill that seeks to make changes to federal crop-support and nutrition programs, including the food stamp cuts. That compares with fourfold bigger food-aid reductions in the House bill and $135 billion proposed in a budget the chamber passed that was written by 2012 vice presidential nominee Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin . These cuts would affect a broad array of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, including working families with children, senior citizens, veterans, and adults who are still looking for work, the White House said in a statement against the bill that threatened a veto should it get to President Barack Obama s desk. Democrats in Congress have said they wont allow that to happen, and Republicans also said they expect this to be a starting point for House-Senate negotiations. I remain committed to getting a five-year farm bill on the books this year, House Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas said. The vote was another step toward that goal. No Timeline Aides to House Speaker John Boehner , an Ohio Republican , and Cantor said they didnt have a timeline for when those discussions might formally begin.

Jackie Speier Protests Food Stamp Cuts With Steak, Vodka, Caviar

Greenslate is not exactly a representative example. Government data make clear the vast majority of households receiving benefits include at least one member who is either a child, elderly, or disabled. But Republicans have focused on recipients who are able-bodied adults without dependents — people who may be like Greenslate. Able-bodied adults without dependents made up 10.2 percent of SNAP population in 2011, up from 6.6 percent in 2007. Federal law only allows such “ABAWDs” to receive three months of food stamps, but most states waive the requirement because of high unemployment. Research shows the doubling of food stamp rolls from 2007 to 2012 owes to the bad economy. But Republicans, led by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), have emphasized the waivers. Thursday’s legislation would take the waivers away, thereby denying benefits to 1.7 million Americans next year. The legislation, in the unlikely event it becomes law in its entirety, would reduce SNAP enrollment by 3.8 million in 2014, according to the Congressional Budget Office . The House GOP bill will have to be merged with more moderate Senate legislation before any of it can become law. Greenslate said he’s not lazy, putting more than 40 hours per week into his band, Ratt Life , which has an album coming out in six weeks. He said Fox found him through a friend. He cooperated with three days of the network’s filming in hopes his band could win some publicity. It won him some local media attention, he said, but also an interview with a local prosecutor who wondered if Greenslate had broken any laws (he apparently hasn’t).

At Food-Filled Farm Aid, Music Isn’t Only Focus

The five-member Oklahoma delegation, all Republicans, voted for the bill, including House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, who last year proposed only a $16.5 billion cut and this year a $20.5 billion cut in SNAP. Oklahoma was one of the 40-some states that requested waivers from the Agriculture Department to make it easier for people to qualify for food stamps, but this year the Legislature passed and the governor signed a law forbidding the state government from asking for another waiver to allow a category of beneficiaries known as “able-bodied adults without dependents” (ABAWDs) to get benefits for more than the federally allowed three months out of every three years. “Oklahoma has this underlying culture of self-sufficiency that is probably the main thing that Oklahomans pride themselves in,” Christian said in an interview earlier this month. “Loudly advocating for the safety net is not the easiest thing to do in Oklahoma.” Christian said that she and her colleagues spent much of the early part of the year trying to tone down the effort in the state Legislature to stop the ABAWDs from getting more benefits. Oklahoma legislators initially wanted to require that the beneficiaries work more hours than the federal law requires and had to be informed that they could not go beyond federal law, Christian said. The ban on ABAWD waivers passed, but Christian said antihunger advocates managed to stop other proposals, including one on asset tests that would have made it particularly hard for senior citizens to get food stamps. With these state-level battles a high priority, the debate in Washington over food stamps seemed far away, but Christian said she does travel to Washington about once a quarter and had made it clear to Lucas that there are still many needy people in Oklahoma. (Perhaps that’s why Lucas in an interview said he heard more about food stamps from advocates in Washington than at home.) Lucas, she said, visited food banks in 2011 and has been supportive of SNAP. “He is aware that its benefits are important for families staying together,” Christian said. “He is not one to buy into any rhetoric.” But she said it has been harder to get Lucas’s staff to agree to meetings since he has been under so much pressure to cut make a big cut to food stamps. Christian said she does not blame Lucas for agreeing to the cuts, particularly since it is part of a path toward a new farm bill. Last year, when Lucas proposed a $16.5 billion cut to food stamps over 10 years, the Oklahoma food banks remained silent while national antihunger groups such as the Food Research and Action Center called for no cuts to food stamps. “We did not say a thing,” Christian said. “We knew that no cuts was unrealistic.” National hunger groups “are trying to keep their message consistent,” she added, “but it is not productive when they are not working with the reality.” Christian and her colleagues have also tried approaching more recently elected Oklahoma Republicans. Rep.

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Died on Nov. 16, 1961. Joe Martin (Pictured right) Speaker Of The House, 80th & 83rd Congress (1947-49, 1953-55) William Bankhead (Pictured back row, left) Speaker Of The House, 74th-76th Congress (1936-1940). Took over after the death of Joseph Byrns on June 4, 1936. Died in office on Sept. 15, 1940. Joseph Byrns (Pictured left) Speaker Of The House, 74th Congress (1935-36). Took over after the death of Henry Rainey on Aug. 19, 1934. Died in office on June 4, 1936. Henry Rainey Speaker Of The House, 73rd Congress (1933-34).