The House of Representatives voted to cut $4 billion from the food stamp budget program. This devastating news effects one in seven U.S. citizens. The vote was a very tight 217-210. The New York Times is reporting that the bill was much-needed because the current $80 billion program had “grown out of control.”
“This bill eliminates loopholes, ensures work requirements, and puts us on a fiscally responsible path,” said Representative Marlin Stutzman, Republican of Indiana, who led efforts to split the food stamps program from the overall farm bill. Stutzman continues, “In the real world, we measure success by results. It’s time for Washington to measure success by how many families are lifted out of poverty and helped back on their feet, not by how much Washington bureaucrats spend year after year.”
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Speaking of what they spend–even with the cuts, the food stamps program will cost $700 billion over the next 10 years! While the Democrats believe these cuts will plunge people into poverty, the Republicans feel these cuts will help increase the setting of work requirements.
As the bill is written (under House majority leader, Eric Cantor), $40 billion will be cut through the next 10 years, adults 18-50 will be required to find a job or at least enroll in a work-training program if they want to keep receiving benefits and legislation will allow states to require food stamp recipients to be drug-tested.
“It’s a sad day in the people’s House when the leadership brings to the floor one of the most heartless bills I have ever seen,” said Representative James McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts. “It’s terrible policy trapped in a terrible process.”
The New York Times is reporting that four million people will be omitted from the food stamp program next year and about three million a year will see the same fate after that. A report recently released on the Census Bureau detailed that the food stamp program prevents millions of people from dropping below the poverty line.
The desired result of this heartless cut to food stamps has good intentions–getting people back into the workforce–but we know it’s not that easy. “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 immediate result of these cuts is hunger, not jobs. 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.”
SMH! Do you think this cut is for the best? Let’s chat! @Rhapsodani
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