Food stamps were cut by more than $5 billion after a close vote was passed by the House, reports The Associated Press via Yahoo! News on Sept. 19. The billion-dollar cuts represent only a 5 percent reduction however to the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that currently aids one out of every seven Americans.
In fiscal year 2012, $74.6 billion in food assistance was distributed. On average, each eligible low- and no-income resident received $134.29 per month in food assistance last year.
The 217-210 vote was passed amid talk of another government shutdown. Each individual state that oversees the administering of the program will be provided with a set of cost-saving limitations, including new work search requirements, drug testing, and the elimination of a loophole that allowed able-bodied adults with no dependent children to continue to draw food stamps indefinitely.
The bill is unlikely to pass through the Senate however, and even if it did, President Obama has said he will strike it down. If the bill were to pass, close to 4 million Americas would instantly lose their aid.
“These cuts would affect a broad array of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, including working families with children, senior citizens, veterans, and adults who are still looking for work,” the White House said in a statement on the bill.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the proposed bill a “full assault on the health and economic security of millions of families.” Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett went a step further, dubbing it the “Let them starve” bill.
White House spokesperson Jay Carney said Thursday that House Republicans are attempting to “literally take food out of the mouths of hungry Americans in order to, again, achieve some ideological goal.”