House votes to cut food stamps

The cut of $4 billion represents 5 percent of the program

By Mary Clare Jalonick

Published September 19, 2013 10:29PM (EDT)

Eric Cantor                           (Reuters/Gus Ruelas)
Eric Cantor (Reuters/Gus Ruelas)

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.

Food stamps' cost has more than doubled in the last five years as the economy struggled through the Great Recession.

Mary Clare Jalonick

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Congress Food Stamps From The Wires Government Inequality Poverty Welfare