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House Introduces Bill Cutting $40 Billion From Food Stamps

House Republicans on Monday introduced a food stamp reform bill (link) that they say will cut $40 billion from the program over 10 years.  The House Rules Committee announced a meeting today on HR 3102. The bill could be on the House floor by Thursday. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) who is whipping the food stamp bill, predicted that it would pass and that some compromise with the Senate will be found. "It will pass and we will get a farm bill," he predicted. The measure gets its savings by preventing states from waiving work requirements for recipients. "Even if this bill is defeated, as it should be, I worry the debate will eliminate any remaining goodwill needed to pass a farm bill," Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) said in a Monday statement. “The Majority is again catering to the extremes of their party, pushing messaging bills to nowhere. It’s time to get serious. If they will just get out of our way, the House and Senate Agriculture Committees can work together and provide farmers, ranchers and consumers the certainty of a five-year farm bill.” House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) began circulating talking points on Monday to help the GOP defend the measure (link). The Senate farm bill (S 954) proposes $4 billion in SNAP cuts over 10 years by barring households from using receipts from a federal heating program for utility reductions if the payment was less than $10. The utility deduction is part of a formula used to calculate the level of monthly SNAP benefits. The House farm bill sets the threshold at $20. House Democrats on the Ag Committee released a document about the cuts – link.

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