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WASHINGTON — House Republicans are preparing legislation that would cut food stamps by as much as $4 billion annually in an effort to downsize a program that many conservatives say has become too bloated in recent years.

A group of Republicans led by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has agreed to try to advance the legislation as early as next month. The measure would reduce the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program by as much as 5 percent. House conservatives have urged major cuts as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, has doubled in cost since 2008.

The bill is certain to face strong opposition from the Democratic Senate and President Barack Obama, who have opposed major cuts to the program. They say cuts could drop millions of Americans off the rolls when they are already struggling from the Great Recession.

Reps. Marlin Stutzman of Indiana and Kristi Noem of South Dakota, two Republicans who helped design the bill, said the legislation would find the savings by tightening eligibility standards and imposing new work requirements. It would also likely try to reduce the rolls by requiring drug testing and barring convicted murderers, rapists and pedophiles from receiving food stamps.

Many provisions in the proposed bill were included in farm legislation defeated on the House floor in June, though several were added by amendment. The original farm bill passed by the House Agriculture Committee would have cut food stamps by about $2 billion a year, but conservatives revolted against the bill even after adding additional savings through amendments, saying the cuts weren't high enough.

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 a food stamp bill to come later, with deeper cuts.


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Archived Comments

  • TimberTopper
    August 2, 2013 at 5:24 a.m.

    Let's see, it says since 2008 the cost of the program has really gone up. And these Congressmen are wanting to cut down the size of the program. Well DUH, in 2008 we were bailing out the big banks, and job loss was everywhere across this nation. It would seem that as a result of those two factors alone, yes this program would cost more, for it to accomplish what it was supposed to accomplish. As a former Republican, I have a question. Does one have to have brain damage of some sort, or just basically not give a damn about what happens to our fellow Americans in need, while we throw money at all these foreign countries, to be a Republican today? As near as I can figure most of the Washington politicians are way over paid. I'm thinking they are really just worth the $ 7.25 per hour minimum wage, and some should be considered to be part-time.

  • graytonghost
    August 2, 2013 at 5:58 a.m.

    They need to cut it by 25% and let the welfare sponges like inquire get a job