- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 20, 2013

The House voted 234-188 against a Democrat amendment to a farm bill that would have kept food stamp spending at its current level — and in so doing, gave the thumbs up to go forward with cuts to the program to the tune of $2 billion in one year.

The Democrats’ amendment would have ensured that current levels of spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program stay in place. Rejecting that amendment puts in motion cuts that are contained in the farm bill that trim SNAP, or food stamp, spending by 3 percent, which translates to about $2 billion from the $80 billion program, The Associated Press reported.

Food stamp spending has sparked a partisan war and complicated talks on the farm bill.

Conservatives say the program is bloated and costs taxpayers too much. Liberals say that reducing spending in this area could leave 2 million low-income families in the lurch. And the White House, meanwhile, has vowed to veto any plan that reduces food stamp spending.

The amendment came by way of Rep. James P. McGovern, Massachusetts Democrat. He decried its failure in the House, saying the legislative move would “hurt so many people,” AP reported.

The farm bill has 103 amendments, AP reported, and voting on the individual measures continued on Thursday.

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