Forget "Top Chef," for Democrats the show's judge Tom Colicchio is a top lobbyist on issues like food stamps. Colicchio made a repeat trip to Washington this week to urge House members to vote against a Republican plan to slash $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Though not meeting one-on-one with GOP lawmakers
this trip, Colicchio hoped they'd come around. "We're hopeful that we'll have some Republicans who will do the right thing," he told Whispers. "You never know."
House Democrats weren't as charitable.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the Republican-led bill "a new low." Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said it was "immoral." Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., echoed the sentiment. "It stinks," McGovern said at a press conference Tuesday. "It was just cooked up in the Majority Leader's office, some sort of Heritage Foundation fever dream."
Colicchio, who was the executive producer of the documentary "A Place at the Table," which featured McGovern, has been politically active on the hunger issue, even promoting a scorecard that rates members' votes on food policy. He hoped that, at least locally, he'd get support. "I live in New York, I'm not in Peter King's district," Colicchio said, referring to his Republican congressional neighbor. "But I hope that the New York [delegation] does the right thing."