Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions delivered the Weekly Republican Address Saturday, highlighting the fact that both poverty and spending on government assistance continues to grow in America.
“We spend a trillion dollars each year on federal poverty programs. That’s more than the budget for Social Security or Defense,” he said. “But poverty seems only to increase.”
Sessions, the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, highlighted the low-income troubles in the nation’s capitol, where 1 in 3 children in Washington D.C. live in poverty and 2 in 3 live in single parent homes. Just northward in Baltimore, Sessions added, 1 in 3 are living on food stamps and 1 in 3 children are living in poverty.
“Americans are committed to helping our sisters and brothers who are struggling, but we are seeing the damaging human consequences of our broken welfare state,” he said.
The Alabama senator slammed the Agriculture Department for its aggressive outreach efforts to enroll more people on food stamps, including strategies to overcome “mountain pride,” and the USDA’s contention that “each $5 in new [food stamp] benefits generates almost twice that amount in economic activity for the community.”
“Isn’t a better goal to help more Americans find good-paying jobs, to have the pride and self-respect that comes from that?” he asked. “Isn’t this a superior form of compassion that has a more solid moral foundation? Yet every time lawmakers try to reform the bureaucracy to accomplish these goals, they meet with the same response: President Obama attacks the reformers, saying such ideas aren’t compassionate or fair. But what is truly unfair and lacking in compassion is to protect a federal bureaucracy that is failing those who need our help the most.”