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House Agriculture Committee Slashes Nutrition For Poor Kids, Keeps Agribusiness Subsidies

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"House Agriculture Committee Slashes Nutrition For Poor Kids, Keeps Agribusiness Subsidies"

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This is a telling moment in priorities:

The Republican-led House voted to slash domestic and international food aid Thursday while rejecting cuts to farm subsidies. A spending bill to fund the nation’s food and farm programs would cut the Women, Infants and Children program, which offers food aid and educational support for low-income mothers and their children, by $868 million, or 13 percent. An international food assistance program that provides emergency aid and agricultural development would drop by more than $450 million, one-third of the program’s budget. The legislation passed 217-203. [...] In addition to making spending cuts, Republicans in the House used the legislation to express dissatisfaction with a number of Obama administration policies, including healthier eating initiatives championed by first lady Michelle Obama as part of her “Let’s Move” campaign.

Commentary outsourced to Alex Tabarrok who notes that “anyone who argues against making school meals healthier because it’s too expensive at the same time as they vote for keeping billions of dollars in farm subsidies is not concerned about expenses. What unites the bill is not ideology but protection of agribusiness.”

This vote also tells us a lot about the longer-term implications of the House GOP’s drive to turn Medicare into a heavily means-tested program.

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