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Alabama Republican wants to stop people on food stamps from owning cars — but expects them to get jobs

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Alabama Republicans say they want a new bill to drastically limit state welfare programs so that recipients will get jobs — but the bill eliminates the most common means of transportation to and from work.

The bill, created by Republican Sen. Arthur Orr, cuts the time frame for assistance from five years to three. It also creates a new layer of bureaucracy for poor people seeking help, including the requirement that they sign a contract vowing to adhere to the program’s rules. It also disqualifies people from getting food stamps or financial assistance for families with children if the recipients own cars, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.

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“We want to get people working back in the workforce and not hanging out for public benefits because they can,” Orr told the paper.

The bill will go to the state Senate after clearing committee 10-3, according to the Advertiser. It limits the programs SNAP, or food stamps, and TANF, or Temporary Aid for Needy Families.

The vast majority of TANF recipients — 77 percent — are children, the Andalusia Star News reports.

It drew sharp criticism from Democratic Sen. Rodger Smitherman.

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“I’m going to do whatever I can to stop this,” Smitherman told members of the Senate’s Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee, while pounding his fist into a table. “I am not going to let you do this to these people. I am not going to let people starve.”

Smitherman further criticized fellow lawmakers, pointing out some parts of the state had unemployment rates topping 15 percent.

“There’s no provisions in there that guarantee employment if you go through those steps,” he said.

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In some areas the number of aid recipients is high — 20 percent of the Covington County population, for example, according to the Star News.

The Star News points out that opponents are concerned that preventing car ownership will complicate efforts of recipients to find jobs and get to work.

Carol Gundlach, a policy analyst with Alabama Arise, told the Advertiser that it’s a myth that people are dependent on the programs long term, adding there is a lot of turn-over.

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“People just aren’t dependent,” she told the Advertiser. “That’s a myth. People go on and off these programs all the time, particularly TANF.”


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Drunken racist survives crazed attack on cops who woke him up in parking lot and called his dad

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A Louisiana man survived an encounter with police, despite violently attacking them, issuing a death threat and hurling racist slurs.

Officers found Jonas Reese Crystal sleeping in a parking lot about 1:30 a.m. Sunday outside an apartment building in Prairieville, and police asked if anyone could take him home, reported The Advocate.

The 25-year-old Crystal gave police several fake names and was "very resistive," officers said, and he was handcuffed and placed into a police vehicle.

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Reporter brutally shames Trump for tweeting about ‘Dancing with the Stars’ while she’s forced to flee Syria

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Lindsey Hilsum, an international editor for the United Kingdom's Channel 4 News, shamed President Donald Trump on Monday for tweeting about Sean Spicer's appearance on "Dancing with the Stars" even as a humanitarian crisis of his own making is exploding in northern Syria.

After the president encouraged his supporters to vote for his former White House press secretary on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," Hilsum sent out a tweet pointing to the grave situation on the ground in Syria that occurred after the president gave Turkey a green light to launch military operations in the area.

"Sorry I can’t," she wrote, referring of the president's request to vote for Spicer. "Too busy fleeing Rojava, leaving Kurdish friends to the mercy of Assad and the military assault started when you told Erdogan you wanted out of 'endless wars.'"

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House Intel member reveals witnesses say the same thing: The Ukraine call is ‘just the tip of the iceberg’

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Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said on Monday that witnesses have been telling House investigators that President Donald Trump's call to the Ukraine's president is just "the tip of the iceberg."

Raskin made the remarks as he was on his way to a closed-door hearing with Fiona Hill, the president's former top Russia adviser.

“Essentially everybody is telling us the same thing, which is that the phone call was just the tip of the iceberg on July 25th," Raskin said.

I asked @RepRaskin, before he walked in to Fiona Hill deposition, about the accounts they’ve been hearing from aides behind closed doors on Ukraine: “Essentially everybody is telling us the same thing, which is that the phone call was just the tip of the iceberg on July 25th.”

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