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‘We can barely eat’: West Virginia offers a chilling preview of Trump’s food stamp restrictions

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The Trump administration late last year finalized plans to enforce stricter work requirements for food stamp recipients in a move that’s estimated will kick 750,000 low-income Americans off the program.

The state of West Virginia has had similarly strict requirements on food stamps for the past few years, and the New York Times reports that this policy has increased food insecurity without having a significant impact on employment.

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“We can barely eat,” West Virginia resident Chastity Peyton tells the Times.

Peyton and her husband both work — but their jobs don’t offer steady enough hours for them to consistently qualify for food stamps.

All of this has put an added strain on local food banks that have seen a significant increase in clients since the policy change.

“A few years ago, at the first of the month we would be slow and toward the end of the months we would be busy,” Diana Van Horn, who runs a food pantry at the Trinity Episcopal Church in the West Virginia town of Milton, tells the Times. “Now we are busy all the time.”

And Cynthia Kirkhart, who runs the region’s major food bank, tells the Times that people started showing up at the warehouse asking for food after the stricter work requirements were put in place.

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West Virginia resident Jerome Comer says that many people in the state simply cannot find jobs because they can’t afford a car.

“You say, ‘Well, they’re able-bodied Americans.’ Yeah, but they live 40 miles out in the holler,” he tells the Times. “They can’t walk to McDonalds.”

Read the whole report here.

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Rick Santorum flattened by CNN’s Berman after calling Parnas bombshell revelations ‘extraneous’ to impeachment

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Rick Santorum and CNN's John Berman got into a frantic back-and-forth on Friday morning after the former Republican senator attempted to dismiss the revelations by former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas as something that should not be submitted as evidence in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump.

Discussing the Senate trial expected to start next week, Santorum said the only testimony and witnesses that should be allowed are ones that came up in the earlier House hearings.

"The House's responsibility to bring to us a case," Santorum stated. "They're the one who is said these are offenses that are worthy of the president being removed from office; here is the record, here are the charges. The Senate didn't impeach, the House did, so we are going to look at the record the House presented us. We're going to look at the witnesses and say are there are questions that we have for the people that brought this case forward and relied on these witnesses and look at their testimony."

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GOP senators are questioning allegiance to Trump as impeachment becomes a reality: Morning Joe panel

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According to members of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" panel, Donald Trump may see more defections by previously supportive Republican senators now that the impeachment of the president has become a reality and their conduct will be scrutinized by voters back home.

Speaking with columnist David Ignatius, host Joe Scarborough noted that multiple Republican senators -- including several who are retiring -- are going soft on defending the president and may be inclined to allowing multiple witnesses who could damage the president.

"David Ignatius, you know, we've known Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) both of us, for a long time. and as they coming to the end of their careers," Scarborough began. "I would think [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell would be concerned that these gentlemen would vote their conscience and not just blindly follow Donald Trump and would vote to have a fair, open hearing and trial and get this new evidence that's coming in, that's come in since the House impeached."

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Furious Trump grilling aides on how impeachment is playing with voters: report

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According to a report in the New York Times, a furious Donald Trump spent Thursday afternoon huddled with close White House aides worrying how voters are reacting to his impeachment as it heads to a Senate trial.

Following an afternoon where he tweeted about how unfair the impeachment process has been ( “I JUST GOT IMPEACHED FOR MAKING A PERFECT PHONE CALL!” he wrote) -- and snapping at reporters -- the Times reports the president later bunkered down with staffers to discuss what to do next.

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