On the heals of the strange "computer glitch" over the weekend that cut-off food stamp benefits to recipients in 17 states, many people have wondered if this may have been a precursor to a possible nationwide shutdown of all EBT cards.
It turns out that the USDA has sent out a letter to all states' SNAP programs directing them to halt their normal processes for transferring issuance files into the EBT system for November food stamp benefits. According to the letter, some states begin the transferring process as early as October 15th in order to prepare for November issuance. SNAP programs have been notified to delay this normal process until further notice.
Fox 13, a local television station in Utah did a story on this letter signed by Audrey Rowe, FNS Administrator. A video of their report can be viewed here.
If it is true that this administration intends to make the government shutdown as painful to the American people as possible, certainly cutting off food stamps to our nation's low-income families would be both painful and a needless outrage.
Considering we went over the debt ceiling back in May, the next date of October 17th for a possible default could be compared to just picking a date by throwing a dart at a calendar and seeing where it lands. This is the only government shutdown in history preparing to cut-off absolutely essential services for millions of American families.
If the food stamp program is not considered essential by our current federal government, then nothing is off the table in which to inflict needless suffering.
One thing people need to be reminded of is that if our senior citizens' Social Security benefits are threatened next, it is THEIR money and not an entitlement program. Social Security and Medicare funds were supposed to be kept out of the reach of politicians' hands who love to constantly raid the General Fund. These monies were supposed to have been kept in a secure, separate fund for our citizens' retirement. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. This does not change the fact that our seniors were forced to contribute into this terrible system throughout their entire careers and they deserve to collect. The American people need to remind their elected officials of this fact because many politicians appear to have conveniently forgotten the obvious.
All of congress and this administration need to stop playing games, stop raising the debt ceiling, start telling the truth and start paying the bills.
Fox 13 - Salt Lake City, Utah