Billy Long on Welfare & Poverty
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
Opponent's Argument for voting No:
Congressional summary:: The SNAP Verify Act: Amends the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to require a member or representative of a household that receives supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program) to present photographic verification when using an electronic benefit card for a SNAP purchase.
Opponent's argument against (New Orleans Times-Picayune, Jan. 15, 2014): Some advocacy groups for the poor quickly condemned the Vitter legislation. "Many poor people do not have photo ID's, and it costs money they do not have to get them," said the executive director of the Coalition on Human Needs. "Senator Vitter's proposal will be especially tough on elderly and poor people who do not have the documents needed to get their photo ID, and who will struggle even to get to the necessary offices. They will wind up going without food."
Opponent's argument against (Rick Paulas on KCET, "Food Rant", Feb. 12, 2014): On the surface, the case for photo ID at the point of sale is full of logic. It will finally put an end to problem of food stamp fraud! No more will poor people scam the system! If a person's forced to show identification when they buy groceries, people who shouldn't be using them won't be able to do so! (Sidenote: The main method of food stamp fraud is recipients selling their SNAP for cash, in order to use the money on items that are not food) Since we're using logic then, it only makes sense to ask how many people are defrauding the system. The answer: Not a whole lot. To be exact: A little over 1% of food stamps issued are sold on the black market. But, forcing SNAP recipients to show ID will certainly cut down on this number a tad. But as far as the food stamp ID argument goes, the question remains to be answered: How exactly does the Republican party benefit from fewer Americans being able to eat?
Congressional Summary: Transitional Housing for Recovery in Viable Environments Demonstration Program Act: This bill requires HUD to establish a five-year demonstration program to provide low-income rental-assistance vouchers to individuals recovering from an opioid or other substance-use disorder. Specifically, these vouchers shall be provided through a supportive housing program that provides treatment for such disorders and coordination with workforce development providers.
Statement in support by the Republican Policy Committee: This bill would set aside, out of approximately 2.2 million vouchers, the lesser of 10,000 Section 8 vouchers or .05% of all vouchers. In 2017, President Trump established the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The Commission will be chaired by Governor Chris Christie and will study ways to combat and treat the scourge of the opioid crisis. The Commission noted, "There is a critical shortage of recovery housing for Americans in or pursuing recovery. Recovery residences (also known as 'sober homes') are alcohol- and drug-free living environments for individuals seeking the skills and social support to remain free of alcohol or other drugs."
Statement in opposition by National Low-Income Housing Coalition: The bill would lengthen affordable housing waiting lists for low income families, seniors, and people experiencing homelessness. Rep. Maxine Waters spoke against the bill [saying it] tries to help people suffering from substance-use disorders, but that doing so requires more resources: "You cannot do this on the cheap. Rehabilitation costs money. We would be taking 10,000 vouchers from those who have been waiting in line for years."
Legislative outcome: Bill Passed House, 230-17-24 on June 14, 2018. No vote in Senate [died in committee].
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