As anyone who went to Catholic school will tell you, you don’t want to face an angry nun.
A day before they prepare to vote on a bill that would make massive cuts to the food stamps program, House Republicans got an earful from one riled-up sister.
Sister Simone Campbell, who runs the Roman Catholic social justice group NETWORK, smacked down the idea–often used to support such cuts–that food stamp recipients are unproductive or undeserving.
“It’s shocking: the basic argument is that getting food stamps, they say, keeps people lazy and dependent. But what they’re not dealing with is reality,” Sister Simone told Rev. Sharpton on Wednesday’s PoliticsNation.
The bill backed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor would cut $39 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (better known as SNAP, or more commonly as food stamps) over the next decade. It could kick nearly 4 million people off the program in 2014.
Campbell strongly opposes the new work requirements being put into the SNAP program through this bill, especially when so many Americans are struggling to find work to begin with.
“The fact is, there are three people looking for a job for every job opening. This is crazy,” she said. “It’s wrong for our nation.”
Campbell is no stranger to criticizing Republicans for their “war on the poor.” She was a vocal opponent of austerity measures during the 2012 election, calling out fellow Catholic and then-VP candidate Paul Ryan for his budget.
“Who are we as a nation, that we do not value our people enough to make sure everyone eats?” she said. “My faith says that it is a moral responsibility. The dignity of every human person demands at least food to survive.”
“The recent data indicate that 80% of our nation has not benefited from the economic recovery. Those who have benefited have been the top 20%, and you’ll notice it’s the top 20% who are making these arguments,” she said.
“I think what we need to do is to make sure everybody understands we’re in this together. This is not about us against each other,” she said. “The 100% benefits when our people eat.”
“This is a benefit for our entire nation.”