Menu
Wacky Laws: No Food Stamps for Strikers, No 'Streams' in Judaism

Wacky Laws: No Food Stamps for Strikers, No 'Streams' in Judaism

The liberal blogosphere is all worked up about a budget bill proposed by the Study Group, made up of conservative Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, that appears to deny food stamps to any family with a single adult member who goes on strike. The draconian measure was first brought to light by ThinkProgress.com (here) and has since gotten blog play at AFLCIO.org (here), InTheseTimes.com (here) and Salon.com here, as well as the Chicago Sun-Times, (here), the MSNBC “Ed Show” and even in a New York Times editorial.

The trouble is, it’s apparently not true. The sponsors told CBS News that the bill does not cut off families from food stamps when a member goes on strike—it merely prevents strikers from applying for food stamps to make up for lost income that results from a strike.

The confusion is sort of understandable, since the language of the measure states unambiguously that “no member of any family shall participate in the food stamp program at any time that any able-bodied eligible adult member of such household is on strike.” It goes on to say that families that were eligible immediately before the strike do not lose their eligibility as a result of a strike. But that “at any time” language makes it sound like families are going to be cut off, and the nuance of continued eligibility—which basically means that no family on food stamps will be cut off as a result of a strike—is lost on most of the reporters, including the Times editorialist.

The original March 23 ThinkProgress.com blog post on the bill has an update (undated, which is ironic since “date” is part of its name) reporting that, “Believe it or not,” the anti-strike language “is actually part of a 1981 Reagan era law.”

Speaking of wacky legislation, Israel’s religious affairs minister, Yaakov Margi of Shas, wants to introduce legislation in the Knesset stipulating that “there are no streams in Judaism, only one that has been passed down to us from generation to generation,” namely Orthodoxy. The Jerusalem Post reports that Margi’s legislation would also make Israel’s Chief Rabbinate “the supreme rabbinical institution in Israel and the world.” The Masorti movement of Conservative Judaism and the Jewish Agency for Israel are fighting the bill, according to another Post report.

Written by

J.J. Goldberg

J.J. Goldberg

Jonathan Jeremy Goldberg is Editor-at-Large of the newspaper The Forward,[1] where he served as editor in chief for seven years (2000-2007). He served in the past as U.S. bureau chief of the Israeli news magazine Jerusalem Report, managing editor of The Jewish Week of New York, as a nationally syndicated columnist in Jewish weeklies, as editor in chief of the Labor Zionist monthly Jewish Frontier, as world/national news editor of the daily Home News (now the Home News Tribune) of New Brunswick, New Jersey, and as a metro/police-beat reporter for Hamevaker, a short-lived Hebrew-language newsweekly published for the Israeli émigré community in Los Angeles.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Next article

Recommend this article

Wacky Laws: No Food Stamps for Strikers, No 'Streams' in Judaism

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close