Thursday, June 20, 2013

Food Stamp-Cutting Farm Bill Dies in the House

The House has rejected a five year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill that would have cut $2 billion annually from food stamps and let states impose broad new work requirements on those who receive them. 
Those cuts weren't deep enough for many Republicans who objected to the cost of the nearly $80 billion-a-year program, which has doubled in the past five years. The vote was 234-195 against the bill, with 62 Republicans voting against it. 
The bill also suffered from lack of Democratic support necessary for the traditionally bipartisan farm bill to pass. Only 24 Democrats voted in favor of the legislation after many said the food stamp cuts could remove as many as 2 million needy recipients from the rolls. The addition of the optional state work requirements by an amendment just before final passage turned away any remaining Democratic votes the bill's supporters may have had.
While I'm glad that the SNAP (food stamp) cuts did not go through, it is simultaneously depressing and unsurprising that the bill failed because Republicans wanted to program cut even more. The people on this program are already struggling to make ends meet, yet the GOP wants even more Draconian cuts. This is yet another example of them making the already disadvantaged pay the price for the mistakes of the affluent. 

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