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Congressman refuses to say if Americans are entitled to eat

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31.05.2017

I took a few days off over the Memorial Day weekend for my wedding and tried not to worry about the grim headlines, most of them generated by one man:

●President Trump, shoving a European prime minister.

●Trump, picking fights with Germany and France and destabilizing the seven-decade-old NATO security.

●Trump, responding to the pope’s plea on climate change by pulling the United States out of the world climate-change pact.

●Trump, tweeting late-night gibberish — “covfefe” — as investigators probing the Russia scandal queried more members of his inner circle.

Perhaps the most upsetting headline I saw, though, was generated not by Trump but by a 10-year veteran of the House Republican majority. In an astonishing interview Saturday on NPR, this lawmaker repeatedly demurred when asked whether Americans are entitled to the most basic human need.

NPR’s Scott Simon, a genial interviewer, asked Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.), a member of the Ways and Means Committee and an influential figure on agriculture policy, about Trump’s proposal to make vast cuts to food stamps. Smith posited that the program could be cut in ways that “do not harm........

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