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House Debates SNAP This Holiday

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House Debates SNAP This Holiday

Heading into the holiday season, food is on the minds of many including lawmakers. On Tuesday, the White House kept pressure on Congress to ensure the poor and lower income families have something to eat this year. The Obama administration kept pressure on Congress to pass a new multi-year farm bill without resorting to the steep cuts in food stamp funding. This new bill would differential from the bill seen from the Republicans within the house . Their bill contained calls for drastic cuts in food stamp payouts for families. Two days of discussion between Congress’ top agricultural negotiators last week failed to close the gap on food stamps between Republicans and the Democratic-run Senate, whose version proposes much smaller cuts.

The House wants the biggest cuts in a generation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), some $39 billion over 10 years. The Senate would achieve about $4 billion in savings by tweaking certain subsidies on utility bills available to SNAP recipients. The White House has actively pushed for stable SNAP funding as a vehicle for increased economic activity. It was reported that every dollar in SNAP funding generates up to $1.80 in economic activity for the more than 230,000 retail food outlets that are part of the program according to the National Economic Council. The most recent reports show that 47.6 million Americans were enrolled in SNAP during August, the 13th consecutive month over 47 million, drawing an average monthly benefit of $133.07.

In the coming weeks we should see more headlines and bantering as a result of the issue. The Republicans will most certainly look to stand their ground on the issue. At the same the the house liberals will aim to defend their constituents through an economic plea. Until then, enjoy your turkey.

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