Republicans Propose Limiting Food Aid to Rural Children

| Wed May 21, 2014 12:32 PM EDT

Via TPM, here's the latest proposal from the Republican Party in its agriculture and food safety bill:

In a surprising twist, the bill language specifies that only rural areas are to benefit in the future from funding requested by the administration this year to continue a modest summer demonstration program to help children from low-income households — both urban and rural — during those months when school meals are not available.

Since 2010, the program has operated from an initial appropriation of $85 million, and the goal has been to test alternative approaches to distribute aid when schools are not in session. The White House asked for an additional $30 million to continue the effort, but the House bill provides $27 million for what’s described as an entirely new pilot program focused on rural areas only.

Democrats were surprised to see urban children were excluded. And the GOP had some trouble explaining the history itself. But a spokeswoman confirmed that the intent of the bill is a pilot project in “rural areas” only.

I guess that is surprising. Usually Republicans are a little more subtle in their contempt for poor people in urban areas. But now they're being completely up-front about it. Poor white kids will get extra money for meals when school is out of session. Poor black kids won't. I'm not surprised that Republicans had a hard time explaining this. So did Donald Sterling.

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