Arkansas Representative Tom Cotton has introduced a new bill into the US House of Representatives to replace the national food stamp program. The new bill allows families of 5 or more an annual ration of seven loaves of bread and two fish.
The current food stamp program would have been cut by more than $21 billion, but was voted down as a part of the large Farm Bill, which provides subsidies to farmers. Tom Cotton led other Republicans to vote against the bill because the cuts to food stamps were deemed not drastic enough. House Democrats meanwhile voted against the bill because the food stamp cuts were too drastic, leading to a large defeat of the bill.
“The new bill provides the cuts we need while still providing for the basic needs of the citizens,” Cotton says. “By our estimation if a crowd of 5,000 can eat off of 7 loaves of bread and 2 fish, then a family of 5 should be more than satisfied for a year with food to share. If that is not enough then they should spend more time in prayer.”
While the new bill provides no direct assistance to families less than five members, it does include a provision for multiple families to apply together to receive aid. In addition communities of over 5,000 residents impacted by disasters can apply for aid under the new bill to receive a daily ration of the fish and bread while under federal assistance through FEMA.
“I often ask myself, ‘what would Jesus do to care for these people in poor situations?’ ,” Cotton says. “Clearly he wouldn’t just give them a federal credit card and let them run off to the market. He would give them a reasonable serving of food and expect them to be happy they got it, not begging for more.”
Cotton says that the fish, which is US raised catfish, can be substituted for one large 32oz ribeye and the cornbread can be changed to Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Most House Republicans are backing Cotton’s plan, and the bill is expected to come down to a close vote in the house. Harry Reed has promised to block the bill in the Senate saying the provisions are not adequate.
Cotton hopes this bill will help him in the upcoming campaign. Cotton has already raised over 2 million for reelection, mainly through donations from farming corporations and a PAC established by the US Catfish industry.