House Republicans Vote to Cut Food Stamps by $40 Billion, Claim Poor Won't be Hurt (Video)

| by Michael Allen
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The GOP-controlled House of Representatives voted on Thursday to cut food stamps for the poor by $40 billion over 10 years.

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who pushed for cutting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), claimed it was "wrong for working, middle-class people to pay for abuse of the food stamp program."

However, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported:

The overwhelming majority of SNAP recipients who can work do so.  Among SNAP households with at least one working-age, non-disabled adult, more than half work while receiving SNAP -- and more than 80 percent work in the year prior to or the year after receiving SNAP.  The rates are even higher for families with children -- more than 60 percent work while receiving SNAP, and almost 90 percent work in the prior or subsequent year.

The deep cut to SNAP was applauded by several Republicans, noted Reuters.

Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) slammed food stamps as part of a "culture of permanent dependency," while Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) claimed the food stamp program was "fraught with abuse," but did not provide any proof.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) promised, "There won't be needy people taken off of this. This is a sincere effort to manage the budget."

However, Rep. King did not say how he could guarantee needy people would not lose their food stamps.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) told CNN today that by cutting food stamps by $40 billion there would be "more money" for hungry people, reported RawStory.com.

“It’s a 5 percent decrease, when we know that there is 10.5 percent of the stores that take food stamps are engaged in trafficking. So we know the fraud stands at 10 percent of the stores. We only want to cut 5 percent. That ought to leave more money getting to the hands of the people who do need it,” claimed Rep. Harris.

However, he did not explain how the cut would only affect people committing fraud with food stamps.

Sources: RawStory.com, Reuters, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities