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

2 years 10 months 3 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
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis has received a $1 million gift, the largest in its... More >>
2 hours ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 5:07:03 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A 51-year-old man is accused of pulling over a vehicle and acting as if he were... More >>
3 hours ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 4:46:46 PM CDT in News
COOPER COUNTY - A man has been charged in relation to a hostage standoff east of Boonville Friday morning. ... More >>
3 hours ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 4:15:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - With the extreme heat this weekend, local medical experts told people to be aware of the signs of... More >>
4 hours ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 3:53:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Out-of-towners from across the state are boosting sales for local businesses and restaurants downtown this weekend. The... More >>
4 hours ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 3:13:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Knights of Columbus hosted a barbecue fundraiser for the country's first Special Olympics training... More >>
6 hours ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 1:54:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Athletes, parents and officials across Columbia attempted to beat the heat while participating in the Show Me State... More >>
6 hours ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 1:21:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Hundreds of mourners gathered for the funeral for a Kansas City, Kansas, police captain shot... More >>
7 hours ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 12:10:16 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A federal judge has tossed out a woman's lawsuit against Home Depot over the deaths of... More >>
8 hours ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 11:38:15 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City, Missouri , man is accused of spitting in a police officer's eye and... More >>
8 hours ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 11:29:44 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — A group of young athletes braved the high heat this morning doing more than most people do before... More >>
9 hours ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 10:36:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Roy Blunt has served in Congress for two decades, but as he seeks re-election to the... More >>
10 hours ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 9:39:32 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An incoming high school senior from the Kansas City area will be one of the youngest... More >>
10 hours ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 9:33:00 AM CDT in News
BOONE COUNTY - The Boone County Fair had better turnout than expected with Sturgeon hosting it for the first time.... More >>
13 hours ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 6:02:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Early Thursday morning, a man was shot during an argument with a neighbor about a “no parking” sign... More >>
19 hours ago July 23, 2016 Jul 23, 2016 Saturday, July 23 2016 Saturday, July 23, 2016 12:03:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Two mid-Missouri Republican delegates said the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week was very successful. Columbia... More >>
20 hours ago July 22, 2016 Jul 22, 2016 Friday, July 22 2016 Friday, July 22, 2016 11:06:00 PM CDT in News
GALENA (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol said an 18-year-old has drowned in Table Rock Lake. The patrol... More >>
23 hours ago July 22, 2016 Jul 22, 2016 Friday, July 22 2016 Friday, July 22, 2016 8:03:19 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A federal judge has ruled in favor of a Missouri lawmaker who cited religious objections while... More >>
1 day ago July 22, 2016 Jul 22, 2016 Friday, July 22 2016 Friday, July 22, 2016 7:59:24 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 92°
8pm 91°
9pm 87°
10pm 85°
11pm 84°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
The Bourne Identity
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
10:29p
Saturday Night Live
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Bourne Identity
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