NPR : News

Filed Under:

House Votes To Slash $40 Billion From Food Stamp Program

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted Thursday to slash $40 billion from the federal food stamp program.

GOP lawmakers cited what they said was widespread abuse of the program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which is intended to help poor individuals and families buy groceries.

The vote to cut food stamps came on a party line vote of 217-200.

"It's wrong for working, middle-class people to pay" for abuse of the program, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said.

Democrats cited Congressional Budget Office estimates that it would deprive 4 million needy people of SNAP benefits in 2014. The $40 billion cut — $4 billion a year over the next decade — amounts to about 5 percent of the total program cost.

According to The New York Times:

"The bill would also cut off food aid after three months to recipients between the ages of 18 and 50 if they cannot find work or enroll in a job placement program. Exceptions would be granted for those with children who are still minors."

SNAP has traditionally been part of a larger omnibus farm bill, but in July, House Republicans split food stamps from the rest of the agricultural measure.

One in seven Americans uses food stamps, according to The Associated Press. As NPR's Tamara Keith reported on Wednesday, it's not clear how rampant abuse in the system is, but "the vast majority of SNAP recipients either work or are children, disabled or elderly."

The White House, in a statement, chided lawmakers for cutting "one of our nation's strongest defenses against hunger and poverty."

"These cuts would affect a broad array of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, including working families with children, senior citizens, veterans, and adults who are still looking for work," the statement said.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan and chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said Wednesday that the House bill "will never see the light of day in the Senate."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Not My Job: Sharon Jones Gets Quizzed On Handshakes

We've invited the lead singer of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings to play a game called "Let's shake on it."
NPR

Salvage Supperclub: A High-End Dinner In A Dumpster To Fight Food Waste

The ingredients — think wilted basil, bruised plums, garbanzo bean water — sound less than appetizing. Whipped together, they're a tasty meal that show how home cooks can use often-tossed foods.
NPR

Barbershop: Speechwriters Speak On The RNC And DNC

Republican speechwriter Mary Kate Cary, Democratic speechwriter Jeff Nussbaum and historian from the University of Virginia Barbara Perry dissect the last two weeks of speeches at the RNC and DNC.
NPR

From 'The Water's Edge To The Cutting Edge': Fish Skeletons, CT Scans And Engineering

Professor Adam Summers is a "fish guy." He uses fish to get engineering ideas. His latest project is to CT scan every type of fish — all 33,000 of them.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.