Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign spokesman blasted donor-class favorite Sen. Marco Rubio for joining with Democrats to block a conservative reform of the food-stamp program, in an exclusive email to Breitbart News.
Rubio voted against a 2011 Republican proposal which the Congressional Budget Office projected would have saved the U.S. government $10 billion by reining in abuse of the food stamp program.
“It’s just another example of Senator Rubio teaming up with the Democrats and liberal Republicans to block common sense reforms to the corrupt and bloated Food Stamp program,” Cruz’s communications director, Rick Tyler, told Breitbart.
Sessions pitched his reform as a modest measure to shave $10 billion through enforcement from a projected 10-year budget approaching $800 billion. That is a little more than a one percent reduction to a budget that has quadrupled since 2001. The measure was backed by almost all Republicans and opposed by virtually all Democrats.
Only six Republicans opposed food stamp reform along with Marco Rubio. Those Republicans were Thad Cochran, Susan Collins, Scott Brown, Dan Coats, Richard Lugar, and Olympia Snow.
As of publication, Rubio’s campaign did not respond to Breitbart’s request for explanation as to why Rubio voted against the 2011 food stamp reform.
As Sessions explained at the time, his proposal would have eliminated what is known as “categorical eligibility” for food stamps, which makes people “automatically eligible” to receive government benefits even if that household has “substantial assets.” It works by declaring that if someone is eligible for one welfare benefit, they are deemed automatically eligible for food stamps— bypassing the asset test for the food stamp program. The program commonly used to confer “categorical eligibility” is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF.
“In 42 States there is no limit on the amount of assets certain households may have to qualify for TANF. As a result, households with substantial assets but low income would be deemed eligible for SNAP benefits even if they have substantial assets,” Sessions explained in a speech delivered on the Senate floor at the time.
In other words, with “categorical eligibility” in place, someone with more than enough financial assets to pay for their own food— such as expensive cars and electronics— would still be able to get taxpayer-funded food stamps.
Food stamp funds have been mishandled and misused. One notorious case was a defendant in Operation Fast and Furious. One of the people who came in, bought a whole host of illegal weapons in Arizona to take back across into Mexico, was a food stamp recipient. According to the report, he spent thousands of dollars on these guns, maybe tens of thousands of dollars on these expensive weapons. He bought 300 high-powered assault rifles. He had money for that. Yet we are buying his food for him.
Rubio’s vote against food stamp reform will add to more questions about whether he falls too far outside the mainstream of GOP thought to be the nominee.
For instance, polling shows 92 percent of GOP voters oppose projected immigration growth, yet Rubio has pushed to add to the already-historic rate of migration into the country. He has sought to expand refugee resettlement, issue 33 million green cards in one decade—an immigrant population more than 10 times the size of the population of Iowa— and in 2015 offered a proposal known as the Immigration Innovation Act (or I-Squared) which would allow for unlimited expansion of Muslim migration into the U.S.
The current foreign-born population is at an all-time high of more than 42 million, and immigration is already adding the equivalent of two cities of Chicago each five years under current law.
Rubio has also staked out hardline positions in favor of foreign military interventions, backing the Obama-Clinton plan to topple Muammar Qaddafi, arguing for the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, signaling a willingness to shoot down Russian airplanes over Syria, and also saying the U.S. would defend Turkey’s borders against any alleged Russian incursion.
The threat against Turkey prompted a mocking tweet from conservative columnist and best-selling author Ann Coulter: “Rubio will go to war w/ Russia over Turkey’s borders but won’t defend America’s [border].”