John Carney Joins the SNAP Challenge Protest — UPDATED

Filed in Delaware by on June 18, 2013

UPDATE — courtesy of Rep. Carney’s office: The Congressman started his SNAP challenge yesterday, meaning I jumped the gun here relaying info from other sources. In any event, Representative Carney started reporting on his progress with the SNAP challenge via his Facebook page. According to that page, he’ll be meeting with various people in Delaware and DC to highlight the challenges of people who live on the SNAP program.

The House of Representatives is getting to vote on its version of the Farm Bill — this GOP led version cuts 2.5% of SNAP funds. It is estimated that this might throw about 2.5M Americans who need food help off of the program. As a protest — 26 Democrats in the House have started a week-long SNAP Challenge (some reports have some of their staff joining them), where they pledge to live on the $4.50/day subsidy SNAP provides. Our representative, John Carney, is on the list of Democrats doing this challenge.

Representative Carney’s own webpage (or his Facebook page) doesn’t have anything about his commitment to this yet, and we’ll link that when it happens. In the meantime, I commend Representative Carney for taking up this challenge, and really, each legislator should have to live only on the “safety net” for a month before they are allowed to vote on a thing. Living on $4.50 a day is hard, especially if you are trying to maintain some semblance of a healthy diet. But I wonder about the effectiveness of this as a protest. No doubt there will be much attention to their efforts over the week (complete with Twitter hashtag — #SNAPChallenge), which is a great way to inform people, but will this change any GOP minds? I read this comment (or a variant thereof) someplace, recently:

It takes a coward to ignore the poor, it takes a monster to steal their food, it takes a Republican to ridicule their misery.

Fewer people would need food assistance if they could work at jobs that paid them enough to put food on the table. Because it isn’t just people who don’t work who get food assistance — it is people making minimum wage for few hours at the Walmarts of the world, too. Helping to push back on the so-called jobs that don’t even allow these workers to stop accessing these benefits would help too. Which isn’t to denigrate Rep. Carney’s challenge here — this is plenty tough — I just wish it was a better protest.

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"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." -Shirley Chisholm

Comments (10)

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  1. This is the second time that Rep Carney has done this in 2013. Serious kudos!

  2. aoine says:

    I know he gets beat up a lot in here- but I liked him then and now…..

    He does a lots of good stuff that he does NOT go about ensuring everyone knows about.

    That’s someone who has more substance than fluff. And we have Far far far too many that are nothing but fluff.

  3. Roland D. Lebay says:

    Sorry, Aoine. Biden did the same thing.

    Make nice w/ the electorate (a classmate of mine died, Biden attended the funeral) yet fuck them over (basically every banking bill ever) on a regular basis w/o taking “credit.” Fuck him, & fuck Carney & Coons. They are BARELY better than the right wingers.

  4. bamboozer says:

    Hmmm, Carney doing the right thing, a trend perhaps if we are so lucky. As noted if the lower end of the employment ladder made more money, even a little, food stamps would be greatly reduced.

  5. SussexAnon says:

    Now if there were only a Monsanto challenge………

  6. SussexAnon says:

    …….or a minimum wage challenge…….
    …….or a health insurance challenge……..
    …….or a bankster screwing you out of your house challenge…….

  7. Black Cobain says:

    See Carney talk about the SNAP program

  8. cassandra_m says:

    Thanks for posting that!

  9. labman57 says:

    All of the recent remarks and antics by Ryan, Gohmert, Stockman, et al. simply provide additional evidence that the Congressional GOP doesn’t give a crap about socio-economically disadvantaged American families — their standard m.o. continues to be to use anecdotal examples and snarky retorts to legitimate concerns in a pathetic effort to justify their callous lack of empathy.

    Exhibit A — at a time when there are a greater number of American families in poverty … they suggest that it makes perfect sense to reduce the number of families that can qualify for food stamps and to slash the financial support provided to each of these struggling families.

    So do you feed the kids, pay the heating bill, or gas up the car (assuming that you even own one) so that you can go to work? Take your pick.

  10. Tom McKenney says:

    House Republicans voted down an amendment to bring the level of fraud in agricultural programs down to the level of food stamp fraud. They said it would hurt farmers. They can’t have a small level of fraud to feed many but, rampant fraud to corporate farmers is no problem.