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MSNBC's Hayes: Senator Vitter Finds 'Another Way to Screw Poor People'

Media Research CenterOn Thursday's All In show on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes charged that Senator David Vitter has found "another way to screw poor people" as he complained that the Louisiana Republican has proposed a photo ID requirement for food stamp recipients.

Hayes brought up Vitter briefly after fretting that new voting rights legislation would not address voter ID requirements and would not ensare as many states for scrutiny as the original Voting Rights Act.

Before a commercial break Hayes plugged: "Coming up, Republican Senator David Vitter comes up with another way to screw poor people who don't have photo IDs. That story is next."

When he returned, the MSNBC host recounted bipartisan congressional legislation replacing the Voting Right Act that was struck down by the Supreme Court, and ended up complaining about voter ID laws still being allowed. He then used the ID issue to springboard to the Vitter plan for welfare. Hayes:

And we're going to see from the Republican members of Congress which side they are on. In fact, just yesterday, one of them announced he was so taken with voter ID laws, he wants to expand the franchise. Senator David Vitter introduced a bill requiring that food stamp recipients display photo ID to get their food. Vitter says the bill is designed to keep fraud out of the program, even though fraud is at historic low and need remains extremely high.

The MSNBC host concluded:

The real impact of this bill, of course, would be to make it harder for people at the bottom of the economic ladder, the most likely not to have a photo ID, to get food stamps they desperately need. Of course, David Vitter knows that. It is, no matter how he spins it, a feature, not a bug.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Thursday, January 16, All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC:

CHRIS HAYES, BEFORE COMMERCIAL BREAK: Coming up, Republican Senator David Vitter comes up with another way to screw poor people who don't have photo IDs. That story is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES, FROM THE JUNE 25, 2013, ALL IN: We begin tonight with the truly stunning decision by the Supreme Court where, if I may speak metaphorically, I believe John Roberts's court took out a knife and plunged it into the voting rights act's soft underbelly and then dragged the gasping, dying body across the street onto the steps of the capital building and left it there with a note to Congress, saying, "It would be a shame if this law were to die."

HAYES, LIVE: That was my reaction on the day the Supreme Court gutted the voting rights act and attempted to get away with it by telling our notoriously dysfunctional Congress to revive it. Well, today, members of Congress stepped up.

Senator Patrick Leahy introduced bipartisan legislation that would reestablish a formula to determine which states must be cleared by the federal government before they change their election laws. The Roberts court ruled that the old formula was unconstitutional because it was based on criteria established in the 1960s, effectively striking down the heart of perhaps the most important civil rights law ever enacted, signed by Lyndon Johnson in 1965 in response to efforts in the South to keep blacks from voting.

The new legislation, proposed today, would subject a state to preclearance, if it has committed five or more voting rights violations over the last 15 years. One of the lawmakers behind it is Republican Jim Sensenbrenner who was instrumental in re-authorizing the law with broad bipartisan support in 2006.

But to win GOP support this time, the bill was written so that voter ID laws not be included as one of the five violations that can trigger preclearance. And, as currently drafted, the new law would only apply to four states. None of them are North Carolina, which has undertaken perhaps the most sweeping attack on voting rights in the nation. Still, this is forward progress from the state of affairs just yesterday.

And we're going to see from the Republican members of Congress which side they are on. In fact, just yesterday, one of them announced he was so taken with voter ID laws, he wants to expand the franchise.Senator David Vitter introduced a bill requiring that food stamp recipients display photo ID to get their food.

Vitter says the bill is designed to keep fraud out of the program, even though fraud is at historic low and need remains extremely high. The real impact of this bill, of course, would be to make it harder for people at the bottom of the economic ladder, the most likely not to have a photo ID, to get food stamps they desperately need. Of course, David Vitter knows that. It is, no matter how he spins it, a feature, not a bug.