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Boehner’s Resignation Gives Hope to Food Stamp Recipients, Planned Parenthood Supporters

by | Sep 25, 2015 1:39pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Congress, Federal Budget, White House

Christine Stuart photo House Speaker John Boehner’s resignation is giving food stamp recipients and Planned Parenthood supporters hope that Congress will avoid a government shutdown.

Boehner’s resignation — announced Friday morning and said to be effective at the end of October — is giving Connecticut advocates and others hope that Congress will pass a “clean” continuing resolution funding the program.

Republicans have threatened to defunded Planned Parenthood as part of any continuing resolution, but a vote to do so in the Senate failed again Thursday, blocked by Senate Democrats.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Friday that it was the ninth time since 2007 that Republicans have tried to defund the family planning organization.

The latest attempt follows the release of a series of videos by an anti-abortion group purportedly showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing arrangements to provide fetal tissues to medical laboratories. The videos, Blumenthal said, have been widely discredited.

“The resignation announced today by John Boehner is a very positive sign that we will have a clean continuing resolution without efforts to defund Planned Parenthood next week,” Blumenthal said Friday at a press conference in Hartford. “It’s good news for American democracy because efforts to defund Planned Parenthood should not hold hostage the budget for the American people.”

He said the resignation means there is a path forward to avoid a government shutdown.

Food stamp funding is also at risk for more than 420,000 Connecticut food stamp recipients.

In its latest communication with the states, the U.S. Department of Agriculture told Connecticut’s Department of Social Services to maintain food benefit operations even though it’s uncertain whether there will be enough money to fund them with the threat of a government shutdown looming.

In its Thursday letter, the USDA said “the administration strongly believes that a lapse in appropriations should not occur and there is enough time for Congress to prevent it.”

However, if Congress fails to act the USDA “would have limited resources to finance October SNAP benefits,” the USDA letter states.

More than 420,000 Connecticut residents are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — including children, parents, singles, elderly people, and adults with disabilities. The majority of recipients live in a home where an adult is employed.

If the government shuts down, recipients’ cards would be frozen and they won’t be able to purchase food, even if they had money left over from the previous month.

Like other states, Connecticut administers the benefits through a federal account. About $60 million in federal food benefits are issued monthly to eligible Connecticut households, and those funds help fuel the food economy throughout the state.

“The upshot — while Connecticut and 49 other states and U.S. territories are now cleared to send October SNAP benefit information to our EBT vendor systems, we don’t know yet when the benefits will actually be available for the clients to access at supermarkets, groceries, farmers’ markets and other participating EBT retailers,” the Connecticut Department of Social Services wrote Thursday in a letter to its community partners.

Lucy Nolan, executive director of End Hunger Connecticut!, said she gets the sense that the administration is feeling more optimistic that there won’t be a government shutdown.

“What this indicates to me is that the administration is feeling more secure,” Nolan said.

The government was shut down in 2013 for 16 days. At that time, the state of Connecticut chipped in $800,000 to keep Head Start programs open in Bridgeport.

It’s unclear how much help, if any, Connecticut could provide this time to help maintain federal programs. It currently has a $600,000 surplus and just cut $103 million in state funds to keep its budget balanced.

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Comments

(11) Archived Comments

posted by: Tessa Marquis | September 25, 2015  4:56pm

Senator Blumenthal continues to support women, children, and families with a clear and firm voice.

We are exceedingly lucky to have Senators and Congresspeople who do not succumb to living in “The Bubble” of Washington DC.

posted by: Noteworthy | September 25, 2015  5:17pm

Dick Blumenthal should actually watch the videos before commenting on their content. The videos have not been “widely discredited.” The comments of those who would interpret them perhaps have been, as has the obvious lies by Planned Parenthood and Mr. Blumenthal. They have intentionally misrepresented what Planned Parenthood’s own officials are saying with their own lips in which they casually discuss selling baby parts, intact babies and vagaries of abortions in order to get the desired organs and tissues undamaged. Whatever nitwit thought this is a good practice, defensible practice are just stupid. This is not about reproductive rights. If it were, I’d be there. Mr. Blumenthal should stop deceiving the public. And now.

posted by: Just another CT resident | September 26, 2015  9:30am

Don’t believe everything Blumenthal says (or predicts). Didn’t he once claim to have served in Vietnam?

posted by: art vandelay | September 26, 2015  12:24pm

art vandelay

Hopefully Republicans will now endorse a strong Conservative who will not compromise nor capitulate to the Marxist Socialist Democrats especially Obama. Mitch McConnell the other RINO in the Senate needs to go next.

Once he’s gone maybe Congress can block the Iran Treaty, defund Obamacare and Planned Parenthood.  Once those objectives are completed, Congress can turn it’s attention to the illegal immigration problem.

posted by: oldtimer | September 26, 2015  4:12pm

With the inception of Obamacare, there’s no need for Planned Parenthood. Women can now receive healthcare at a number of providers regardless of their ability to pay. Blumenthal’s support for PP shows he has no regard for the most innocent and vulnerable… The unborn child. Blumenthal sees no problem with PP’s barbaric butchering of innocent babies so they can sell the body parts for profit. Acceptance of this type of behavior shows that our country has lost its moral compass. As humans we have hit rock bottom!

posted by: SocialButterfly | September 26, 2015  7:00pm

More government welfare will now prevail unaddressed as Obama and the Democrats can add to our growing socialist-run national deficit tab approaching $20 trillion dollars. No one cares with John Boehner out of the picture.  The end is near nbless voters succeed in electing Donald Trump who is our only budiness-successful chance to get us out of our nearing nationsl disaster.

posted by: MyOpinion | September 28, 2015  8:43am

Tell the Democrats to stop whooping it up. John Boehner’s departure is a big plus for the Republicans, and now maybe they will stand up to Obama.

posted by: justsayin | September 28, 2015  5:49pm

Blummy, failing again to show any clout relies on the miss-fortune or change in others for his agenda.

posted by: art vandelay | September 29, 2015  11:42pm

art vandelay

John Boehner’s replacement will in all probability be Kevin McCarthy from California.  Representative McCarthy is no conservative by any stretch of the imagination.  McCarthy is another John Boehner but only in a different suit.  Is this the best Republicans can do?  Congress would be better off re-electing Nancy Pelosi.

posted by: GBear423 | September 30, 2015  6:46am

GBear423

Even so Art, the establishment is on notice. I told the GOP when they called for donations that they would not get a red cent from me so long as Boehner and McConnell were in leadership.  I know others that also hold that position.
I watched McCarthy on Bair’s show, whatever his record, he is saying the right things now… I think he faces challenge from 2 other Congressmen that may not have enough support.
Blumenthal is taking nothing for granted, he has been running for reelection since he took the office. He has been in the news cycle often on the typical social issues that appeal to his base. Smart politician.

posted by: SocialButterfly | September 30, 2015  10:09am

@GBear423: Richard Blumenthal is a smart politician “but a bad congressman for his Connecticut constituents.” He uses his talents for political purposes only. He is essentially on ‘Obama-robot-control.’

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