FIRST ON FOX: Several lawmakers blasted the Army for suggesting soldiers battling inflation go on food stamps after President Biden’s student loan handout.
Fox News Digital spoke with several lawmakers from both parties regarding the Army’s suggestion that soldiers impacted by the rising inflation rate enroll in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
“The people that are in our military are protecting our country, putting their lives [at risk], they’re making great sacrifices…,” Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa., told Fox News Digital. “On the same note, if individuals who are in the Armed Services choose to go on the SNAP program, that’s up to them.”
“Nevertheless, yeah, I think our priorities are a little mixed up when we’re choosing special interests, which is being done: those who did not pay their loans off at the sake of those who did, related to higher education,” Meuser said. “So it’s just wrong.”
Meuser said the student loan handout picks “winners and losers” and “certainly” does not teach “American life lessons,” but instead implodes them. He also noted that most of his constituents and likely “most Americans” are against the plan.
New York Democrat Rep. Ritchie Torres told Fox News Digital he had not yet fully read the report on the Army suggesting inflation-battered soldiers go on food stamps, but called it “outrageous.”
Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., called the situation “crazy.”
“Let’s think about that. Now, the Biden administration has not gotten the national defense authorization bill through the Senate yet,” Hill said. “Something where we voted for a pay increase and for benefit increases for our men and women in uniform — we need to take care of them first and foremost.”
“Now what hypocrisy to turn around and say that we’re going to what, I’ve read to be, $560 billion of student loan debt next fiscal year, ballooning the deficit. So, it’s typical of the Biden administration’s mismanagement on both sides of the ledger and making a bad decision, an immoral decision to forgive student loan debt — a problem created by President Obama, I might add as a footnote — and, in turn, suggesting our men and women in uniform go on food stamps because they’re not adequately being taken care of by the Army. It’s wrong on both counts.”
Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., the first female graduate of the Citadel, called the situation “insanity.”
“And, in fact, we’re leaving early this week because Democrats can’t get it together on a spending bill to find money to pay to feed our troops,” Mace said. “It’s crazy.”
The office of Rep. David Trone, D-Md., declined to comment on the issue.
Biden’s plan to forgive student loan debt has been under fire from both sides of the aisle, with Texas Rep. Jodey Arrington, a Republican, telling Fox News Digital over the phone the move is “horrible” and “par for the course for Bailout Biden.”
“I mean, this is a guy that has ushered in a whole new level of entitlement in our culture in the United States and has created a new level of moral hazard,” Arrington said, noting the economic stimulus payments encouraged people to stay home instead of work, leading to a labor shortage and inflation.
Arrington called the student loan handout a “payoff of pond warned “there will be a generation of college students coming through the pipeline who will expect their government to pay for all of their college.”
The Texas Republican also warned the move will “have an upward push on the price of higher education” and that Americans “will see fees and tuition go up as a result of it.”
The U.S. Army has released guidance for soldiers as they fight inflation, including a suggestion that they take advantage of SNAP, commonly known as food stamps.
SNAP, a benefit for low-income Americans, is a program for which “service members and their families may be eligible,” the guidance said, pointing soldiers and their families to the SNAP website and phone number. SNAP is one of several options discussed as part of the Army’s Financial Readiness Program.
“With inflation affecting everything from gas prices to groceries to rent, some Soldiers and their families are finding it harder to get by on the budgets they’ve set and used before,” guidance from Sergeant Major Michael Grinston said. “Soldiers of all ranks can seek guidance, assistance, and advice through the Army’s Financial Readiness Program.”
Fox News Digital’s Ronn Blitzer contributed reporting.