It's hard to compete with love and chocolate on Valentine's Day. The health benefits of both a loving partner and dark chocolate are well-documented. But this Valentine's Day, hearts across the country, and especially in our food deserts, will get an extra boost in the form of President Obama's recently signed Farm Bill.
I know firsthand how important this type of assistance can be to families on the edge. In the 1970s, when I was a student trying to raise two boys as a single mother, I was on public assistance. I know I would not be where I am today as a member of Congress if it were not for the generosity that the American people.
Yes, things are getting better. But that's not saying much. Republicans have lowered the standards of Congress so much that the completion of a basic task like passing a budget or confirming a non-controversial judge is now cause for celebration. Americans shouldn't accept the low standards of this new normal. It's like the relief of having a tooth pulled. The ache that's been with you for so long is gone, the sharp pain of having it pulled is over. But there's something missing. As we look forward to the year ahead, let's remember the tasks we left behind in the rancorous, bitter 2013. Barely functioning is not enough. We have a lot of work to do. Here's to higher standards in 2014!