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Don’t Forget What Happened When Obama First Proposed Chained CPI

February 24, 2014

Most media coverage of the President’s decision not to include the “chained CPI” for cost-of-living adjustments in Social Security and other retirement programs in his 2015 budget has left out a key point to understanding the announcement.

When the President was preparing his 2014 budget early last year, Republican...

Congress Must Not Break 40-Year Commitment to Let WIC Provide Most Nutritious Food

November 20, 2013

The potato industry and several senators are pressuring congressional negotiators on the farm bill to break a 40-year commitment that has ensured that foods provided by the WIC program reflect the best advice of nutrition scientists.  They want to require WIC to allow the low-income women and young children who participate to purchase white potatoes with their WIC benefits, which would crowd...

Remembering Tom Foley

October 18, 2013

A giant fell today.  Tom Foley — former House Speaker, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and ambassador to Japan — and the man who, along with Senators George McGovern and Bob Dole, did more than any other lawmaker to build the modern food stamp program and thereby largely eliminate severe hunger and malnutrition in America — passed away.

In this era of political smallness,...

Ryan’s Proposal: More of What Got Us Here in the First Place

October 10, 2013

While some in the media are portraying Paul Ryan’s op-ed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal as a breakthrough that offers hope of ending the impasse over the government shutdown...

While Government Remains Shut Down, Republicans Propose Another Committee — And One That’s Not Supposed to Discuss Revenues

October 8, 2013

Critical government services have been shut down for over a week, federal employees and contractors are going without pay, and the nation is fast approaching a potentially catastrophic default on its obligations.  But instead of addressing these problems, the House Republican leadership now wants to appoint a committee (termed a “working group”) to recommend ways of reducing the deficit —...

History Isn’t Repeating Itself — This Shutdown Is Different

October 8, 2013

Former Reagan Administration official Joseph Morris argues that there’s nothing unusual about policymakers using a government shutdown to work out policy differences.  In an October 2 Washington Post column, he claims the Reagan years prove it and,...

“Emerging” House Republican Offer Could Spell More Trouble on Shutdown, Default

October 7, 2013

The nation may be in for more trouble on the government shutdown and debt limit than many commentators realize — if Robert Costa’s recent National Review piece accurately reflects House Republicans’ thinking on their next steps.  In “The Emerging Offer,” Costa describes the “offer” that House...

Don’t Reward the Politics of Blackmail, or We’ll See More Shutdowns

October 1, 2013

More than the fate of health reform (and whether millions of uninsured Americans get health coverage) is at stake in the battle over the government shutdown.  How well — or poorly — our democracy functions is increasingly on the line.

The shutdown battle is not over the funding levels at which the government will operate under a continuing resolution (CR) for fiscal year 2014...

Don’t Be Fooled: This Year’s Debt Limit Fight Is Frighteningly Different

September 20, 2013

Update, September 26: Although described as a “debt prioritization” measure, the provision in the continuing resolution that the House approved on September 20 really isn’t.  It would actually allow the Treasury to borrow funds that would not count toward the debt limit to pay interest and Social Security benefits.  While that would still leave the Treasury short of funds to pay other...

Setting the Record Straight on SNAP, Part 8: Hill Article Gets It Way Wrong on House SNAP Cuts

September 18, 2013

A recent article in The Hill on the House Republican SNAP (food stamp) bill that faces a floor vote this week (“GOP to push bill restoring work requirements for food stamps,” Sept. 12) is riddled with serious errors.  All of them help to portray the House GOP proposal positively — which may not be surprising, since the article quotes only House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and a Cantor...

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