House Votes to Slash Food Stamps

    FILE - In this April 23, 2012, file photo Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter's purchases are scanned by a cashier at a ShopRite grocery story in Philadelphia after Nutter pledged to live on the average food stamp benefit of five dollars a day for the entire week. Food stamps look ripe for the picking, politically speaking. Through five years and counting of economic distress, the food aid program has swollen up like a summer tomato. It grew to $78 billion last year, more than double its size when the recession began in late 2007. That makes it a juicy target for conservative Republicans seeking to trim spending and pare back government. But to many Democrats, food stamps are a major element of the country’s commitment to help citizens struggling to meet basic needs.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

    Matt Rourke/AP

    The House voted 217-210 for a bill that aims to cut food stamps by $40 billion over the next decade. Not a single Democrat voted for the measure. “This bill makes getting Americans back to work a priority again for our nation’s welfare programs,” House Speaker John Boehner said. “It’s a sad day in the people’s House when the leadership brings to the floor one of the most heartless bills I have ever seen,” said Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass). The bill, which also allows drug testing of food-stamp recipients, is expected to stall in the Senate.

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