A food stamp cut, which was voted in by the House today, will save the government $4 billion a year. What does this mean for the one in seven people in the nation who use food stamps to feed their families? While there’s no problem with the folks who actually need this assistance, if this bill is ever put into action, they'll just see a 5% reduction. The food stamp cut also offers up some criteria that seems to be geared toward weeding out those who might not really need them.
According to Yahoo Finance on Sept. 19, the bill gives states the green light to put new guidelines in place and folks receiving food stamps have to follow these guidelines in order to continue to receive their food stamp assistance, if this bill goes into law. States can put in work requirements and test the applicants for drugs.
The bill will also put a stop to the government waivers that have allowed able-bodied people who are without dependents to receive food stamps indefinitely.
The government aims to reduce the bloat around this $80 billion-a-year program. The program’s cost has nearly doubled in the last five years and with 47 million Americans now on food stamps something’s got to give. These guidelines are aimed at making sure the folks receiving food stamp assistance are really in need of them.
This wasn’t an easy bill to get passed with the conservatives wanting larger cuts, Democrats opposed any cuts at all and some moderate Republicans have been apprehensive to cut down the program, mainly the Republicans with high areas of usage in their state.
Work requirement: What will they look like under this new bill? The bill allows the states to require 20 hours of work a week to any able-bodied person with a child over one, if there’s child care available. The work requirements are also put upon parents with children over six and in school.
Every Democrat that voted today opposed the bill, with many taking to the podium to make pleas against passing the bill and offering up stories about families in dire need of this extra help.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the bill is a "full assault on the health and economic security of millions of families. "Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett called it the "let them starve" bill.
The opposition didn’t stop there, White House spokesperson Jay Carney said, "literally take food out of the mouths of hungry Americans in order to, again, achieve some ideological goal."