After voting on a ban Wednesday evening, the Republican-led House of Representatives sent a clear and bizarre message to Congress that they would stop welfare recipients from using their benefits at strip clubs, liquor stores, and casinos.
Dubbed in the press as the “strip club bill,” the legislation received a whopping 395-27 vote. Essentially, the bill would prevent welfare recipients from accessing their benefits in strip clubs, casinos, and liquor stores. The Republican-backed proposal was phrased as an attempt to cut down waste and abuse of the federal program.
However controversial, the bill’s aims are not new; House Republicans voted in similar fashion back in December during the payroll tax extension debacle. Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), the mastermind behind bill H.R. 3567, created the bill because he was against the “fraudulent misuse of funds.”
House Republicans are voting on the bill again as part of negotiations between the House and Senate for a yearlong payroll tax extension package and have put pressure on Democrats in Congress to accept the changes since it has passed previously. Some Democrats are going along with the bill in order to speed past other legislative roadblocks.
House Democrats, nearly defenseless, argued in a debate before the vote that the ban would effectively bar citizens from buying necessary food items from a liquor store in case of an emergency. However, Republicans were careful to not include those stores in the ban and were declared exempt.
Honestly, one has to wonder how many welfare recipients are or have been caught at the strip club. With Americans fighting historic poverty levels, regarding unemployment and foreclosures, why are House Republicans worrying about passing bills that affect welfare recipients?
While Boustany is ironically concerned about the “fraudulent misuse of funds,” Americans must ask themselves if our elected officials are grossly misusing our funds.