|House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas |
(R-Okla.) presided over the committee's passing a
farm bill how headed to the House floor.
WASHINGTON -- As many as three million Americans would be cut off from food assistance in the next year under a Republican proposal that cleared a committee in the U.S. House of Representatives early on Thursday.
The cuts, which are part of a broader farm bill, would reduce spending in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, by $16 billion over 10 years. The reduction is deeper than proposed SNAP cuts in a version of the farm bill that passed the Senate last month with bipartisan support.
Watching politicians fight over SNAP can be aggravating for people who rely on the program. Tanya Wells, 32, said her family of four receives the maximum monthly allotment of $668.
"We would love to not have to rely on the government for something as important as food, but we simply can not," she said. "We do hope to be off of the system soon, because it causes a lot of extra stress to see your only food source constantly on the line because of political battles."
Wells said she and her husband both lost their jobs near the end of 2007. She had worked as a logistics coordinator for an oil company while he had been a sheet metal mechanic -- and they made a decent living.
"We were comfortable middle class and all of the sudden the rug got pulled out from under us," Wells said.
Seeing few decent job prospects -- aside from a string of retail and temp office jobs -- they started pursuing bachelor's degrees in biology and neuroscience. Wells said her husband's college awarded him a grant that covers their rent and transportation.
Because of their low income, it's not likely Wells' food assistance would be threatened by the House farm bill. READ MORE