House votes to cut billions from food stamp program

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday on a bill that would cut almost $40 billion dollars from a federal program that helps low-income families buy food.

It passed 217-210.

The SNAP program, formerly known as Food Stamps, ensures that children have enough to eat.

The Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act, HB 3102 is backed by many House Republicans.

In a recent online post, Speaker of the House John Boehner said the bill “…roots out waste, fraud and abuse and encourages able bodied adults to find work.” The White House strongly opposes the bill.

U.S. Rep. Terri A. Sewell, who represents Alabama’s 7th Congressional district, issued the following statement regarding her stance in the bill:

“Today, I voted against H.R. 3102 because rather than addressing the systematic problems that contribute to poverty and food insecurity, this legislation further threatens the well-being of those who rely upon nutrition assistance to feed themselves and their families.

I refuse to support legislation that neglects vulnerable families in my district and across Alabama. This bill will have devastating consequences for the more than 913,000 families in Alabama who depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Presently, SNAP provides essential support to over 160,000 individuals in the 7th Congressional District alone. The majority of the faces of those on SNAP in my district are children under 18 and senior citizens. Rather than balancing the budget on the backs of society’s most vulnerable, we should be providing and strengthening programs that enable every American to better provide for themselves and their families.”

Congressman Spencer Bachus, R-Vestavia Hills, voted in favor of the bill.

The bill now has to be reconciled with a bill passed by the Senate that differs from HB3102 in a number of aspects. Ultimately, both the House and the Senate will have to come to an agreement on the same piece of legislation before it can be sent to The White House for President Obama’s approval.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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