Obama cuts food stamps, betrays the poor and immigrants  

President Barack Obama - Second Inauguration Address

When people voted for President Barack Obama a second time, there was a lot of hope and expectation that he would fulfill his promises By all accounts, Obama did succeed in bringing the country out of its economic crisis. The economy has steadily added jobs throughout the recovery. Nevertheless, there are other issues that the president still has to deal with, including the continued conflicts in the Middle East, Afghanistan and the terrorist activities of ISIS.

Now out of D.C. comes news that Obama recently signed an $8.7 billion cut to the food stamp program. This cut is part of the 2014 Farm Bill and over the next 10 years approximately 800,000 families will lose about $90 per month in food stamp benefits. For Obama, it was part of the deal that he had to make with House Republicans. The Republicans, led by House Speaker John Boehner, originally demanded cuts between $25 billion and $39 billion. Refusal by the White House to negotiate on these bills would put the economy back into a tailspin as the budget crisis would return.

However, this is not the only troubling news we had from Obama in the last week. In addition to signing this food stamp cut into law, he has backed off the immigration issue. Because of congressional inaction on immigration reform,Obama stated publicly, many times that he would use his executive authority to make drastic improvements to U.S. immigration policy. Currently, the immigration court has a backlog of more than 400,000 cases, with new cases being added every day. In addition, many of the border states are facing a crisis with drug cartels and unaccompanied minors overwhelm Customs and Border Patrol officers. Obama announced last week that he would delay action on any immigration policy until after the 2014 midterm elections; some people are calling this a purely political move by Obama.

To be fair to the president, he was put in a tight spot on the immigration issue. If he chose to take executive action, he would play into Republican hands. Already right-wing members of the Republican Party are going forward in their effort to sue the president over his use of executive orders. If Obama were to take executive action on immigration at this time, it would be a political weapon that Republican opponents could use against him and the Democrats. They could concentrate their attacks as an effort to paint Obama as an imperial president who overreaches his authority. By delaying action on immigration reform, the president takes away this weapon. However, to the hundreds of thousands of immigrants in this country it is viewed as a betrayal. The president is hard-pressed to explain why the Hispanic vote should go to Democratic candidates if he is not taking action on a Hispanic issue.

 

 

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.



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