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Congress Converges on $800 Million Cuts to Annual Food Stamp Funding

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ajmexico (CC-BY)

Warring factions in the House and Senate have reached an agreement about how much money to funnel into the federal food stamp program, and the news isn’t good for Americans relying on government assistance to stay fed.

The House and Senate Agriculture Committees wrangled over this and other issues pertaining to a $1 trillion farm bill for close to two years. The Christian Science Monitor’s Elizabeth Barber brought word of the outcome Tuesday:

The 949-page agreement, announced on Monday by members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, comes after almost two years of congressional infighting over the $1 trillion farm bill, which outlines federal spending on a range of agricultural and nutritional issues over the next five years.

Much of the political sparring was over the depth and scope of proposed cuts to food stamps, formally called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a program that has rounded out in recent years to include about 1 in 7 Americans. Republican lawmakers were pressing for cuts of no less than $40 billion over 10 years. President Obama and Senate Democrats voiced staunch opposition to such slashes, calling for a more modest trim of $4 billion over the same period.

It could have been worse, though, if House Republicans had prevailed, as Barber pointed out; last summer, they proposed $40 billion in cuts over 10 years.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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