House passes bill to slash $40B for food stamps

House passes bill to slash $40B for food stamps

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON -

(FOX NEWS) -–  The House voted Thursday evening to cut nearly $40 billion a year from the country's food stamp assistance program.

The 217-210 vote was a major victory for Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and largely cast along party lines. All House Democrats and 15 Republicans voted against slashing the budget for the program.

Despite its passage in the House, the bill is unlikely to make it through the Democrat-controlled Senate.

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 who don't have dependents to receive food stamps indefinitely.

Conservatives have said the program has become bloated. More than 47 million Americans are now on food stamps, and the program's cost more than doubled in the last five years as the economy struggled through the Great Recession.

Finding a compromise -- and the votes -- to scale back the feeding program has been difficult.

Conservatives have insisted on larger cuts, Democrats have opposed any cuts, and moderate Republicans from areas with high food stamp usage have been wary of efforts to slim the program.

"I think the cuts are too drastic and too draconian," said Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y. He represents Staten Island, which was hard hit by Hurricane Sandy last year. "Those that really need the program will suffer," he said.

Ahead of Thursday's vote, House GOP leaders reached out to moderates to ensure their support while anti-hunger groups have similarly worked to garner opposition to the cuts.

The food stamp legislation is the House's effort to finish work on a wide-ranging farm bill, which has historically included both farm programs and food stamps. The House Agriculture Committee approved a combined bill earlier this year, but it was defeated on the floor in June after conservatives revolted, saying the cuts to food stamps weren't high enough. That bill included around $2 billion in cuts annually.

After the farm bill defeat, Republican leaders split the legislation in two and passed a bill in July that included only farm programs. They promised the food stamp bill would come later, with deeper cuts.

Republicans have emphasized that the bill targets able-bodied adults who don't have dependents. And they say the broader work requirements in the bill are similar to the 1996 welfare law that led to a decline in people receiving that government assistance.

"Politically it's a great issue," says Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., one of the conservatives who has pushed for the larger cuts. "I think most Americans don't think you should be getting something for free, especially for the able-bodied adults."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Tuesday that Democrats are united against the bill.

"Maybe I'm just hoping for divine intervention, but I really do believe that there are enough Republicans that will not identify themselves with such a brutal cut in feeding the American people," Pelosi said at a news conference.

On Wednesday, President Obama threatened to veto any bill that made deeper cuts than the Senate version.

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • OKCPD search for man caught on camera robbing payday loan location

    OKCPD search for man caught on camera robbing payday loan location

    Monday, July 28 2014 12:14 PM EDT2014-07-28 16:14:33 GMT
    Police say a man robbed a cash advance store in NW OKC Friday. Photo courtesy: Oklahoma City Police.Police say a man robbed a cash advance store in NW OKC Friday. Photo courtesy: Oklahoma City Police.
    The Oklahoma City Police Department is hoping the public recognizes a man they say robbed a payday loan store in NW Oklahoma City.
    The Oklahoma City Police Department is hoping the public recognizes a man they say robbed a payday loan store in NW Oklahoma City.
  • Norman eyes new fund for flooding, drainage issues

    Norman eyes new fund for flooding, drainage issues

    Monday, July 28 2014 12:27 AM EDT2014-07-28 04:27:12 GMT
    In Norman, flooding isn't terribly unusual during rain.For a city who has a street named Flood Street, and another nicknamed "Lake McGee" for the drive that often floods, having a fund to take care of issues like drainage would be beneficial, city leaders say.
    In Norman, flooding isn't terribly unusual during rain.For a city who has a street named Flood Street, and another nicknamed "Lake McGee" for the drive that often floods, having a fund to take care of issues like drainage would be beneficial, city leaders say.
  • Norman emergency crews respond to near drowning - one person transported to hospital

    Norman emergency crews respond to near drowning - one person transported to hospital

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:27 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:27:24 GMT
    There is a possible drowning at Lake Thunderbird. Norman emergency personnel are on the scene in the Turkey Creek Pass area of the lake.
    There is a possible drowning at Lake Thunderbird. Norman emergency personnel are on the scene in the Turkey Creek Pass area of the lake.
  • More HeadlinesMore>>

  • "I'm pregnant": Man, 80, to be charged for killing intruder claiming to be pregnant

    "I'm pregnant": Man, 80, to be charged for killing intruder claiming to be pregnant

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:00 AM EDT2014-07-28 09:00:02 GMT
    (CNN) -- Tom Greer says he fought back when he was attacked by intruders at his Southern California home. Then he got his gun and fired at them and they ran. The 80-year-old homeowner says one of the fleeing burglars, a woman, shouted, "I'm pregnant!" He shot her twice, killing her. The woman was not pregnant, Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office told CNN on Friday. The district attorney will decide whether Greer will face criminal charges. Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnel...
    (CNN) -- Tom Greer says he fought back when he was attacked by intruders at his Southern California home. Then he got his gun and fired at them and they ran. The 80-year-old homeowner says one of the fleeing burglars, a woman, shouted, "I'm pregnant!" He shot her twice, killing her. The woman was not pregnant, Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office told CNN on Friday. The district attorney will decide whether Greer will face criminal charges. Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnel...
  • Radar captures mayfly swarm on Mississippi River

    Radar captures mayfly swarm on Mississippi River

    Sunday, July 27 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-07-27 22:16:59 GMT
    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Mayflies have begun emerging from the Mississippi River in swarms that show up on radar like thunderstorms, coat roads and other surfaces, and leave behind a slimy mess.
    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Mayflies have begun emerging from the Mississippi River in swarms that show up on radar like thunderstorms, coat roads and other surfaces, and leave behind a slimy mess.
  • 3 days on, no arrests in hunt for carjack killers

    3 days on, no arrests in hunt for carjack killers

    Sunday, July 27 2014 4:05 PM EDT2014-07-27 20:05:12 GMT
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The hunt for two Philadelphia carjackers who rammed their stolen SUV into a family, killing three children, has entered its third day, with investigators saying they're hopeful the suspects will soon be caught.
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The hunt for two Philadelphia carjackers who rammed their stolen SUV into a family, killing three children, has entered its third day, with investigators saying they're hopeful the suspects will soon be caught.
  • FOX25 Slideshows

  • FOX 25 FeaturesMore>>

  • Tell Me Something Good

    Tell Me Something Good

    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
  • Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by 

WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOKH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.