[WATCH] Calif. lawmaker uses steak, caviar, vodka in speech to hit GOP on food stamps

Jackie Speier steak vodka caviarIt’s an odd combination of expensive food and drink items to use to make a point — when was the last time a waiter asked someone, “Would you like some fish eggs and a shot of Stoli with your filet?” — but alas.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) today lambasted House Republicans who represent districts with high numbers of food stamp recipients for supporting a curtailment of spending on the food stamp program while indulging in their own lives.

“They somehow feel like crusaders, like heroes, when they vote to cut food stamps,” Speier said. “Some of these same members travel to foreign countries under the guise of official business. They dine at lavish restaurants, eating steak, vodka, and even caviar. They receive money to do this. That’s right, they don’t pay out of pocket for these meals.”

She cited particular per diem allowances that members received, and in one case used the example of a member who had more than $3,500 for food and lodging over a six-day trip to Russia.

“That particular member has 21,000 food stamp recipients in his district,” Speier began. “One of those people who is on food stamps could live a year on what this congressman spent on food and lodging for six days.”

The Calif. lawmaker’s speech was in the context of debate on a food stamp reform bill that would save $39 billion over 10 years. The House voted 217-210 to approve the measure Thursday evening.

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