Congressman Andy Harris, (R-MD) went to the belly of the beast (MSNBC) this afternoon to talk about food stamp reform. The strident host, Martin Bashir could barely contain his disgust with Harris for even thinking about cutting a penny from the bloated, fraud-ridden program. His chosen method of argument was to hit Harris, a devout Catholic, on religious grounds in an attempt to shame him.
“Congressman, you are a committed Catholic…” Bashir began ominously.
He reminded Harris of a commencement address he gave at the Chestertown Christian Academy, where he had said, “we should never be ashamed of our Christian heritage.”
Bashir continued, “yet it seems now, sir that the church is now ashamed of you and your stance on food stamps. The US Bishops Conference Committee has written to Congress condemning this vote”, he sneered.
(Yes, that would be the same Catholic Bishops Conference that supported ObamaCare, but now opposes it because the HHS contraception mandate violates our religious liberty.)
Harris responded to Bashir’s Catholic-baiting by calmly reciting the facts.
“Well, what we’re going to do today is to take the food stamp program which has doubled over the last three years – literally an increase of 100% – and say we’re going to back it off 5% to fight waste, fraud and abuse”, he began. “Now most Americans think – and I hope the Catholic Bishops would agree with me – that there is waste, fraud and abuse in the program and it’s no one’s responsibility to give tax payer dollars to waste, fraud and abuse.”
Bashir responded with a huge strawman, suggesting Harris was labeling all food stamp users as fraudsters.
Harris had none of it, “saying he hoped all of those qualified stayed on the program,” but the program would be better off if they got rid of the waste, fraud and abuse – like the nine Baltimore stores that have been indicted by a federal grand jury for almost $7 million in food stamp fraud.
Harris did a great job keeping his cool while being attacked on religious grounds. And Bashir showed us once again, there is no depth to which the left won’t sink to push their agenda.