Some people clearly just get it. You can add Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) to that list. While debating the farm bill that the House passed yesterday, which wound up gutting $40 billion in food stamps funding despite threat of veto from President Obama and being promised the bill will never see a vote in the Senate, Rep. Speier brought some props along to drive her point home to her colleagues.
Producing a big bottle of vodka and a plate of cooked steak, and some caviar, Speier chastised the Republicans across the aisle who are flown all over the country and indeed all over the world, treated to fine dining experiences on the taxpayer’s dollar, and yet they see no problem in cutting forty billion dollars from people who most certainly won’t be eating high-end luxury food items with. The point Speier was making was that the only difference between food stamp recipients and members of the House of Representatives is how nice the free food is.
Rep. Speier tore into the House GOP for their effort to starve the farm bill of food stamp funding. Saying, “they somehow feel like crusaders, like heroes when they vote to cut food stamps. Some of these same members travel to foreign countries under the guise of official business. They dine at lavish restaurants, eating steak, vodka and even caviar. They receive money to do this. That’s right, they don’t pay out-of-pocket for these meals.” But just making a blanket statement about the hypocrisy wasn’t enough, Speier brought specific examples.
” One member was given $127.41 a day for food on his trip to Argentina,” said Rep. Speier of one of her Republican colleagues. Or there was also the congress person who got “$3,588 for food and lodging during a six-day trip to Russia. He probably drank a fair amount of vodka and probably even had some caviar. That particular member has 21,000 food stamp recipients in his district. One of those people who is on food stamps could live a year on what this congressman spent on food and lodging for six days.”
Watch Rep. Jackie Speier’s home-run of a floor speech here: