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article imageHouse passes legislation to cut food stamps by $40 billion

By Andrew Ellis     Sep 20, 2013 in Politics
Washington - Yesterday in a 217 - 210 vote, the House passed legislation that would cut spending on food stamp programs over the next 10 years.
According to the Wall Street Journal, if passed by the Senate and signed by President Obama, the bill would cut roughly $40 billion in funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP), over the next decade. It would also require adults 18 - 50 who don't have minor children to get a job or sign up for a work-training program to receive benefits, according to The New York Times.
The Huffington Post said that the Republicans who back the bill, who are also the majority in the House, have argued that it will help people find jobs.
House Majority leader Eric Cantor (R-Va), who helped create the bill, said that it's designed to help people when they need it the most, according to The Huffington Post. He said that most people don't want to be on food stamps, and that they want to be productive so they can support a family and have a hope for a better future.
"They want what we want," he added.
The New York Times added that Republican Representative Marlin Stutzman of Indiana said the bill "eliminates loopholes, ensures work requirements, and puts us on a fiscally responsible path." She also said that it was time Washington measured success by how many families they bring out of poverty, and not by how much politicians spend each year.
Many Democrats did not support the bill and even held up signs of people who would lose their benefits, reported The New York Times.
Democratic Representative James McGovern of Massachusetts, according to The New York Times, called it a sad day when the leaders of the House brought up a bill that he claimed was "one of the most heartless bills I've ever seen." He said that it was a "terrible policy trapped in a terrible process."
The bill faces a road ahead that seems almost unbeatable as it travels to the Democratic-controlled Senate, and President Obama has warned he'd veto it.
"It's a monumental waste of time," said Senator Debbie Stabenow, who is a Democrat from Michigan and the chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, reported The New York Times.
If the bill is defeated, then The Wall Street Journal said that it's most likely that many nutrition programs would stay at the current spending levels. These levels were brought by other bills whose purpose was to keep federal agencies funded into October 1st, when the new fiscal year begins. Congress is working on another measure that would keep agencies funded through mid-December which would give lawmakers time to negotiate spending for the rest of the year.
More about US House of Representatives, Farm bill, food stamp program
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