Over loud complaints, Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee passed legislation to slash nearly $8 billion from food stamps next year. Democrats say it's premature to cut the program because the economic recovery is still taking root, but Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) says lawmakers need to start trimming the federal debt now.
"We have to start living within our means, and that means we need to make sure that we're doing the right things, making sure the right people get the social safety net, and that we don't have people who are not as needy getting everything out of the government, because we can't afford it," says Griffith. "At some point, we are going to collapse the whole system and we're not going to be able to help anywhere near the number of people we need to help."
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) says it's a heartless move by the GOP.
"This is mean spirited," says Connolly. "This is social Darwinism at its worst, and as I've said before, frankly it's the kind of provision that would make even Charles Darwin blush."
The cuts are unlikely to pass the full Congress, but the proposal sets the stage for a broader budget fight to come between Senate Democrats and House Republicans.