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House votes to cut $4B a year from food stamps

Published: Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 11:53 p.m. CDT
Caption
(AP photo)
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., walks to vote on the House floor on Thursday on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. House Republican leaders scrambled Thursday to line up support in advance of a late-afternoon vote on legislation that would cut nearly $4 billion a year from the food stamp program, now used by 1 in 7 Americans.

WASHINGTON – 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.

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