The deadline to pass the federal budget for fiscal 2016 is rapidly approaching, but Republicans are sitting still in opposition of a Planned Parenthood funding provision in the budget. By not passing it, a shutdown is imminent which means 46 million Americans could go without federal food aid.
“If Congress does not act to avert a lapse in appropriations, then the USDA will not have the funding necessary for SNAP benefits in October and will be forced to stop providing benefits within the first several days of October,” said Catherine Cochran, a spokeswoman for USDA. “Once that occurs, families won’t be able to use these benefits at grocery stores to buy the food their families need.”
Food stamp benefits were not affected during the 2013 shutdown but will be this year. The USDA has not given details on why automatic funding will not continue in the event of a shutdown this time around. Two years ago, the shutdown struck thousands of government employees the hardest.
The Republicans’ fight against Planned Parenthood has blinded them to the needs and benefits of others and is likely to create a larger fringe between conservatives and the GOP Establishment. Another shutdown will also likely weaken the GOP.
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