Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Close vote looms in U.S. House on big Republican food-stamp cuts

Food-stamp defenders appealed for two dozen Republican defectors to help kill their party's proposed $40 billion cut in the main U.S. antihunger program as a close vote nears later this week in the House of Representatives.

The reforms pushed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and fiscal conservatives would end benefits for roughly 10 percent of recipients. They would restrict eligibility for a program that has doubled in enrollment and tripled in cost since 2004.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Tuesday "we do know of several Republicans" who opposed the cuts, but she declined to name them. Republicans control the House 233-200, so Democrats need at least 17 cross-overs to defeat the bill and Republicans need a party-line vote to pass it.

David Beckman, leader of antihunger group Bread for the World, said activists were talking to more than 20 Republican lawmakers in the hope of persuading them to oppose the bill. Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, a leader in the group Food Policy Action, said: "We need 20 House members to do the right thing." Read more >>
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