Health & Human Services

House Defeats Farm Bill over Food-Stamp Cuts

The Republican leadership believed it had enough votes from Republicans and rural Democrats to approve a $500 billion farm bill that, in addition to setting agriculture subsidies, would have cut SNAP benefits sharply over the next decade.
June 21, 2013
 

The Republican leadership believed it had enough votes from Republicans and rural Democrats to approve a $500 billion farm bill that, in addition to setting agriculture subsidies, would have cut SNAP benefits sharply over the next decade. But conservative Republicans, who wanted more cuts, and liberal Democrats, who wanted fewer, voted against the measure. The farm bill was defeating by a vote of 295 to 324.

For now, Congress sidesteps a paradox: Although the economy and job market are recovering, SNAP rolls are bigger now than they were in the depths of the recession. As a temporary recession-era boost to the program comes to an end and Congress moves to reauthorize the bill that funds the overall program, the threat of cuts looms large. Many critics are pushing for trims, saying SNAP is inefficient and benefits more than just the truly hungry.

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