House Votes to Cut $4B a Year from Food Stamps

2 years 9 months 5 days ago September 19, 2013 Sep 19, 2013 Thursday, September 19 2013 Thursday, September 19, 2013 5:24:17 PM CDT in News
By: The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The House has voted to cut nearly $4 billion a year from food stamps, a 5 percent reduction to the nation's main feeding program used by more than 1 in 7 Americans.

The 217-210 vote was a win for conservatives after Democrats united in opposition and some GOP moderates said the cut was too high.

The bill's savings would be achieved by allowing states to put broad new work requirements in place for many food stamp recipients and to test applicants for drugs. The bill also would end government waivers that have allowed able-bodied adults without dependents to receive food stamps indefinitely.

House conservatives, led by Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., have said the almost $80 billion-a-year program has become bloated. More than 47 million Americans are now on food stamps, and the program's cost more than doubled in the last five years as the economy struggled through the Great Recession. Democrats said the rise in the rolls during tough economic times showed the program was doing its job.

Finding a compromise -- and the votes -- to scale back the feeding program has been difficult. The conservatives have insisted on larger cuts, Democrats opposed any cuts and some moderate Republicans from areas with high food stamp usage have been wary of efforts to slim the program.

Republican leaders emphasized that the bill targets able-bodied adults who don't have dependents. And they say the broader work requirements in the bill are similar to the 1996 welfare law that led to a decline in people receiving that government assistance.

"This bill is designed to give people a hand when they need it most," Cantor said on the floor just before the bill passed. "And most people don't choose to be on food stamps. Most people want a job ... They want what we want."

The new work requirements proposed in the bill would allow states to require 20 hours of work activities per week from any able-bodied adult with a child over age 1 if that person has child care available. The requirements would be applicable to all parents whose children are over age 6 and attending school.

The legislation is the House's effort to finish work on a wide-ranging farm bill, which has historically included both farm programs and food stamps. The House Agriculture Committee approved a combined bill earlier this year, but it was defeated on the floor in June after conservatives revolted, saying the cuts to food stamps weren't high enough. That bill included around $2 billion in cuts annually.

After the farm bill defeat, Republican leaders split the legislation in two and passed a bill in July that included only farm programs. They promised the food stamp bill would come later, with deeper cuts.

In order to negotiate the bill with the Senate, Republicans said Thursday that one more step is needed -- the House will have to hold a procedural vote to allow both the farm and food stamp bills to go to a House-Senate conference together. It is unclear if Republicans who pushed to split the two bills will oppose that effort.

Once the bills get to that conference, negotiations with the Senate will not be an easy task. A Senate farm bill passed in June would only make a tenth of the cuts to food stamps, or $400 million, and the White House has issued a veto threat against the bill. The two chambers will also have to agree on policy for farm subsidies amid disputes between different crops.

Every single Democrat voting on Thursday opposed the bill. Many took to the floor with emotional appeals.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the bill is a "full assault on the health and economic security of millions of families." Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett called it the "let them starve" bill.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday that House Republicans are attempting to "literally take food out of the mouths of hungry Americans in order to, again, achieve some ideological goal."

The Congressional Budget Office says that if the bill were enacted, as many as 3.8 million people could lose their benefits in 2014.

Around 1.7 million of those would be the able-bodied adults who would be subject to work requirements after three months of receiving food stamps. The 1996 welfare law put that limit into law, but most every state has been allowed to waive that requirement since the Great Recession began in 2008.

The other 2.1 million would lose benefits because the bill would largely eliminate so-called categorical eligibility, a method used by many states that allows people to automatically qualify for food stamps if they already receive other benefits. Some of those people who qualify that way do not meet current SNAP income and asset tests.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA — Breast cancer survivors had the chance to learn about resources available to them at an annual luncheon held... More >>
1 hour ago June 25, 2016 Jun 25, 2016 Saturday, June 25 2016 Saturday, June 25, 2016 5:16:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police have arrested two men for reportedly throwing eggs and shouting racial slurs at... More >>
1 hour ago June 25, 2016 Jun 25, 2016 Saturday, June 25 2016 Saturday, June 25, 2016 4:31:24 PM CDT in News
CLAYTON (AP) — An eastern Missouri husband and wife are accused of stealing more than $300,000 from a casino after... More >>
3 hours ago June 25, 2016 Jun 25, 2016 Saturday, June 25 2016 Saturday, June 25, 2016 2:24:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Emergency medical personnel responded to a cardiac arrest call in the 2900 block of Leeway Drive at 6:48... More >>
5 hours ago June 25, 2016 Jun 25, 2016 Saturday, June 25 2016 Saturday, June 25, 2016 12:40:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — The Missouri Ethics Commission has dismissed a complaint against Republican attorney general candidate Josh Hawley. The... More >>
6 hours ago June 25, 2016 Jun 25, 2016 Saturday, June 25 2016 Saturday, June 25, 2016 11:59:06 AM CDT in News
BOONVILLE - Hundreds of mid-Missourians lined Main Street in Boonville Saturday morning to celebrate the history of the city with... More >>
6 hours ago June 25, 2016 Jun 25, 2016 Saturday, June 25 2016 Saturday, June 25, 2016 11:58:00 AM CDT in News
PERRYVILLE (AP) — A rural Missouri county along the Mississippi River is gearing up for visitors who will arrive next... More >>
7 hours ago June 25, 2016 Jun 25, 2016 Saturday, June 25 2016 Saturday, June 25, 2016 11:16:12 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Jay Nixon this past week signed legislation to give Missouri teachers support in working with... More >>
7 hours ago June 25, 2016 Jun 25, 2016 Saturday, June 25 2016 Saturday, June 25, 2016 10:55:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — Supporters of a transmission line that would carry wind power from western Kansas to the East Coast... More >>
7 hours ago June 25, 2016 Jun 25, 2016 Saturday, June 25 2016 Saturday, June 25, 2016 10:51:10 AM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that a discrimination lawsuit against Springfield, Missouri-based Bass Pro Shops can... More >>
7 hours ago June 25, 2016 Jun 25, 2016 Saturday, June 25 2016 Saturday, June 25, 2016 10:41:37 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Gretchen Maune said losing her sight has made her "more fearless." She wanted to stretch herself by learning... More >>
13 hours ago June 25, 2016 Jun 25, 2016 Saturday, June 25 2016 Saturday, June 25, 2016 4:55:00 AM CDT in News
BOONVILLE - A train crashed into a car near the Isle of Capri Casino and Missouri River Friday night. ... More >>
18 hours ago June 25, 2016 Jun 25, 2016 Saturday, June 25 2016 Saturday, June 25, 2016 12:04:00 AM CDT in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A judge says attorneys for the city of Ferguson and other defendants in a wrongful-death lawsuit brought... More >>
21 hours ago June 24, 2016 Jun 24, 2016 Friday, June 24 2016 Friday, June 24, 2016 8:47:00 PM CDT in News
HOLTS SUMMIT- The Better Business Bureau is warning mid-Missouri about a new scam, where scammers claim to represent Ameren UE.... More >>
22 hours ago June 24, 2016 Jun 24, 2016 Friday, June 24 2016 Friday, June 24, 2016 7:32:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- The Boone County Fire Protection District got an upgrade on Friday. It showed off 10 of its shiny... More >>
23 hours ago June 24, 2016 Jun 24, 2016 Friday, June 24 2016 Friday, June 24, 2016 7:04:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The recent heat wave in mid-Missouri has already caused problems with the roads. And now it's causing major... More >>
23 hours ago June 24, 2016 Jun 24, 2016 Friday, June 24 2016 Friday, June 24, 2016 6:50:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Some drivers in Missouri could soon be rolling down the road of the future. The Missouri Department... More >>
23 hours ago June 24, 2016 Jun 24, 2016 Friday, June 24 2016 Friday, June 24, 2016 6:48:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Residents of Columbia say they are feeling more satisfied than ever when it comes to calling City Hall... More >>
1 day ago June 24, 2016 Jun 24, 2016 Friday, June 24 2016 Friday, June 24, 2016 5:36:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 92°
7pm 91°
8pm 87°
9pm 83°
10pm 82°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
7:00p
2016 U.S. Summer Olympic Trials
6:00p
Cheaters
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2016 U.S. Summer Olympic Trials
8:00p
2016 U.S. Summer Olympic Trials
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld