Democratic Senatorial candidate Brian Moss says Sen. Orrin Hatch doesn't care about hungry children because he voted against a bill that would buy surplus food for the poor. But Hatch says the bill is an emotional, election-year budget-busting measure that shouldn't be supported.
Moss says that Hatch's vote Tuesday against the Child Nutrition Bill"could have denied proper nutrition to as many as 113,000 of Utah's poor and elderly."
The bill passed the U.S. Senate 90-7, with Hatch and fellow Utah Republican Sen. Jake Garn voting against the measure.
Bud Scruggs, Hatch's campaign manager, said Moss' criticisms are "callous slurs."
"Orrin's vote in no way reflects his continued commitment to these kinds of programs. He voted no for budgetary reasons only. The bill would cost $350 million the first year and $688 million the second year, and no one will, or can say, where the money to pay for it comes," said Scruggs.
But Moss said Hatch demonstrated his lack of sensitivity for Utah's most vulnerable citizens - poor children - by voting against food for temporary, emergency hunger relief.
Moss said Hatch also voted for an amendment to the bill that would have required government officials to use surplus corn meal and flour in the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program before spending money to buy food.
Moss said the "let them eat flour and corn meal amendment" failed 14-81.
"All the amendment would do is rotate those surpluses through the program. Why let them sit in warehouses while the government buys food?" said Scruggs.
"The senator has sponsored legislation before to give surplus cheese and dairy products to the elderly and poor and will continue to support those programs. This bill is just an election year ploy to throw money at a problem without solving the problem at all," said Scruggs.
"It's ironic that the same time Orrin Hatch is spending $125,000 (in television advertisements) to tell Utahns how compassionate he is, he is also voting against a program that is vital to the survival of so many young people in our state," said Moss.