Posted September 12, 2013
 
The House of Representatives will likely vote next week on a bill to cut $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over 10 years, according Jerry Hagstrom in a Capital Press article, available here.
commonly known as food stamps.  While Cantor has not announced that a vote will take place next week, “a knowledgeable House Republican aide confirmed that the leadership plans to bring it up and said that the leadership is expected to start this week ‘whipping’ or encouraging Republican members this week to vote for it.”
 
Even if the House passes this bill, however, the farm bill continues to cause controversy in the House.  House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) “said this week that he would vote for the Cantor measure, but warned that there would have to be a compromise with the Senate and with President Barack Obama.” 
 
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that “he hopes the House nutrition bill fails because the reduction is so big it would “capture folks that genuinely need the help.” 
 
A memo from Cantor indicates that the additional cuts will eliminate waivers for “able-bodied adults without dependents” (ABAWDs) to qualify for year-round SNAP benefits.  The memo from Cantor’s office is available here.
 
Under the current law, ABAWDs are only eligible for SNAP benefits for three months out of every three years.  ABAWDs can be eligible for year-round SNAP benefits if they are either employed or enrolled in an eligible workfare or job training program.  States with high unemployment rates may ask for waivers to provide food stamps for longer periods.  The Cantor bill “would stop the states from requesting the waivers and also from easing the path for people who get other welfare payments” for SNAP benefits.
 
The Senate has already passed a comprehensive farm bill, cutting $4 billion from the SNAP program, and has appointed conferees.  House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has said that he will appoint House conferees after the House vote on the nutrition title.
 
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