House bill would cut $4 billion from food stamp program - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

House bill would cut $4 billion from food stamp program

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

The country's $80 billion a year food stamp program could be facing deep cuts if some GOP lawmakers get their way.

The House will review a bill this week that would cut about $4 billion annually from the program and also put in place some work requirements for people getting benefits.

The cost of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, has more than doubled in the past five years.

Now some Republican leaders are calling for sweeping changes to be made.

The potential vote comes after the House struck down a bill they didn't consider far-reaching enough earlier this summer. That bill would've cut about $2 billion a year.

Food stamps and farm legislation have long been tied together.

Now the bill, H.R. 3102, is upsetting those in the farmer's union. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson issued a statement on their website:

"Separating nutrition programs from the farm bill was a mistake from the very beginning. Consideration of H.R. 3102, a politically charged bill that would hurt those in our society who most need help, unnecessarily complicates the farm bill process."

One in seven people is now on food stamps in the nation. The cuts could reduce that number with proposals like

  • Ending government waivers that have allowed able-bodied adults who don't have dependents to receive food stamps indefinitely.
  • Allowing states to require drug testing for those receiving the benefits.
  • Barring convicted murderers rapists and pedophiles from receiving food stamps.

The legislation is not expected to become law even if it passes through the House as President Barack Obama has long said he would not allow any more cuts to the program.

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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