With Thursday’s vote to sever food stamps funding from the federal spending that guarantees the agricultural industry a baseline income, conservatives in the U.S. House achieved a longstanding goal. The GOP has pressed to undermine or outright end food stamps (formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) for years, as the ThinkProgress timeline below shows.
But Republicans appeared to realize that their long-awaited policy triumph invited Democratic criticism before the C-SPAN cameras.
Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) used a parliamentary tactic to silence Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) after the Democrat said “Shame on the Republicans” in her remarks. Brown was baffled when the acting chairman told her to sit down, and her colleagues noted the Republican proclivity for attacking Democrats by name. After several minutes Woodall dropped his objection. (His office confirmed he had objected but declined to comment on his reasoning.) Brown finished her remarks with a reference to Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, saying “you-all do not care about the 47 percent.”
Watch the Woodall-Brown episode:
A senior Democratic leadership aide told ThinkProgress that the majority enforced unusually strict rules throughout the day on how Democrats could voice their arguments on the floor.
Eventually, the House voted 216-208 to approve the food stamps-free farm bill, in a culmination of years of work to constrict and undermine the program. From President Bush’s veto of a food aid funding increase in mid-2008 to Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budgets that would cut the program by more than a hundred billion dollars, the GOP has sought to curb food stamps for years: