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House Republicans Continue War against Organized Labor

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TEHRAN, March 27 (ICANA) – A group of House Republicans is continuing the war against organized labor, introducing legislation that would disqualify striking workers and their families from receiving food stamps.
Sunday, March 27, 2011 10:44:50 AM
House Republicans Continue War against Organized Labor

A family that was eligible for food stamps immediately before a strike would continue to receive benefits, but their benefits wouldn't go up to offset the lost wages of the striking family member. A family that wasn't eligible until a breadwinner went on strike would get nothing. Inthesetimes.org

Despite what some have reported, this food stamp restriction for strikers isn't new; it's current law. It was first added under Ronald Reagan in 1981 and upheld by the Supreme Court in 1988. Salon

Employees' collective bargaining strength was diminished somewhat by a Supreme Court ruling that households are ineligible for food stamps when any member is on strike. In the ruling, the Court upheld the constitutionality of a 1981 amendment to the Food Stamp Act that prohibits strikers from receiving the aid. Salon

The proposed legislation would discriminate against entire families when a breadwinner goes on strike. Inthesetimes.org

The lead sponsor of the bill, H.R.1135, is Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the chair of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), a conservative House caucus with approximately 170 members. An RSC primer on the bill claims that it is designed to reduce dependence on welfare. "Welfare's chief function should be to help people reach the point where they no longer need it," Jordan said in a statement. Inthesetimes.org

Ironically, if poor workers can't afford to strike for higher wages, they're more likely to be stuck on food stamps. Inthesetimes.org

The overarching goal of H.R.1135 is to tally up all "means-tested welfare programs" in order to cap expenditures at 2007 levels, adjusted for inflation, as soon as the unemployment rate falls to 6.5%. Inthesetimes.org

One in five American children lives in poverty and one in four American children are on food stamps. theeconomiccollapseblog.com

According to a revised report by the Census Bureau, the official poverty rate for those aged 18 to 64 is currently 12.9 percent, the highest since the 1960s levels that launched the war on poverty. Working-age poverty has increased to 14.8 percent. msnbc

According to a revised report by the Census Bureau, overall poverty in 2009 stood at 15.7 percent, or 47.8 million people. msnbc

Critics say the poverty line does not take into consideration certain factors such as rent or the median price of a home. If it did, the percentage of Americans living under the poverty line would rise to 30 percent. wisegeek.com

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