The House of Representatives is expected to take up a bill Thursday that would chart the course for federal nutrition programs for years to come.
The measure calls for $40 billion in cuts over a decade to the federal food stamp program, now known as SNAP. The measure's Republican backers say it attacks fraud, but advocates say it will hurt the poor.
House Republicans have approved a farm bill sans food stamps, leaving a gaping hole in the middle of the measure for the first time in 40 years.
The 216-208 vote was largely on party lines, with no Democrats supporting it. Twelve Republicans also voted against it.
The decision to cleave food stamps β formerly called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, from the rest of the farm bill gives Republicans a victory after GOP lawmakers in the House turned down the full measure last month.
Jeannett Escarcega shows her son, John, 4, a photo on her mobile phone in their east Denver apartment on Sunday, May 9, 2013. Escarcega encountered the "cliff effect" after accepting a $14.00 an hour job that triggered the loss of $500 in monthly food stamp support and even more in child care assistance (which was later reinstated for a $350 per month fee).
Credit Joe Mahoney / I-News
Perhaps the most important of the welfare reform measures passed by Congress 17 years ago doesnβt serve three-fourths of working poor families in Colorado according to an I-News analysis.