Saturday, September 21, 2013

Iowa Rep. Steve King, who spent $3,588 on lodging and meals on recent Russia junket, votes to cut $40 billion from food stamp budget

Here's what the Des Moines Register wrote in an editorial published before King and Iowa Rep. Tom Latham voted to slash food stamp benefits for the next 10 years:
Ron Shaich, CEO of Panera Bread, is paid about $3 million per year by the restaurant chain. This week, he’s getting a taste of what it’s like to be one of the 48 million Americans who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps. He’s taking the “SNAP Challenge” by trying to eat on only $4.50 per day, the average benefit amount for food stamps recipients.
...To see whether the poor are really eating like kings, these lawmakers should participate in the SNAP Challenge, too. Iowa’s two House Republicans, Steve King and Tom Latham, could see first-hand how the 420,000 Iowans who rely on food assistance get by on an average of $4 and change per day for meals.
This would be a great exercise for King, who has loudly advocated for cuts to the program and is apparently growing accustomed to finer dining. He spent $3,588 on lodging and meals during a six-day trip to Russia earlier this year, according to the Congressional Record. If he instead used that same amount of money to subsidize a SNAP Challenge, he could eat for 881 days. Heck, if allocated to the challenge the equivalent of the total amount spent on the trip, including transportation, he could keep himself in SNAP meals for 16 years.

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