Last night Valley News Live’s Chris Berg interviewed Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson at a farm bill forum he held alongside North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer. During the interview, Berg asked Rep. Peterson about claims North Dakota Democrats have made about Rep. Cramer and the farm bill.
According to the Minot Daily News, ND Democrat Executive Director Chad Oban said Rep. Cramer “has voted for deep cuts in areas such as the nutrition program in the farm bill.”
“Those kinds of draconian cuts aren’t what we need in the state,” Oban is quoted as saying.
When asked about those comments, Rep. Peterson (who is a Democrat) said they were inaccurate. “No,” he said in response to Berg’s question about the veracity of the attack, “he hasn’t voted on anything. He’s not on the committee, so there’s been no vote.”
Don’t hold your breath waiting for North Dakota Democrats to retract, even when a member of their own party undermines their credibility.
Rep. Peterson also explained what changes are being made to the food stamps program (or SNAP), saying he’s more comfortable with what Democrats are doing with the program than with what his own party is doing.
“What was done in 1996 is they created this exception from the federal law,” he said talking about the income levels at which you can quality for the program. “This is kind of a crazy deal. The states can create the rules which are higher than the federal and send us [Congress] the bill.”
“It’s not fair.”
What he’s saying is that some states can actually set a higher threshold for qualifying for food stamps – say 200% of the poverty level – and send the federal government the bill for it. Peterson would like to see a uniform standard for all the states that would be lower than where some states have set it.
That might result in some people losing those benefits, but those would be people earning well above the federal poverty line.
Regardless, the attacks on Cramer for “cuts” to the food stamps program from North Dakota Democrats are inaccurate in more ways than one.