The momentum to block food stamp cuts continues, with more states considering increasing their minimum heating assistance benefit to $20 a year to prevent families from losing $29 a month in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (for a family of three):
Of the sixteen states and the District of Columbia that operate the heat and eat program, Montana, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont have already moved to expand heating aid to preserve food stamps for low-income residents. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania is the only Republican of the bunch.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) will meet with advisors later this month to determine whether his state can adjust payments, while leaders in California, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey and Wisconsin are also considering making the change.
Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, and Wisconsin all have Republican governors, of course, but the Corbett precedent shows you shouldn't rule anything out, particularly with governors up for reelection in three of those states and the additional heating assistance money coming out of federal block grants.
House Republicans are frustrated that the deep cuts they fought so hard for won't fully materialize and could even be blocked entirely, at least for this year. There's not a lot they can do about it, though, and the governors who've already taking action aren't backing down just because John Boehner whines about cheating:
“We’re following the law that [Congress] wrote,” Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) said in an interview. “It took them six years of negotiating for them to pass a five-year farm bill, and to expect us to do anything but follow the law they passed is absurd.”