WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is expected to consider a bill this week that would cut food stamps by an estimated $4 billion annually and allow states to put broad new work requirements in place for recipients.
The legislation also would end government waivers that have allowed able-bodied adults who don’t have dependents to receive food stamps indefinitely.
The vote comes after the House defeated a wide-ranging farm bill in June because many conservatives believed the cuts to the nearly $80 billion-a-year food stamp program weren’t high enough. That bill would have made around $2 billion a year in cuts.
Food stamps have for decades been part of farm legislation. But House leaders separated the food and farm programs after the bill’s June defeat and passed a farm-only bill in July. The Republican leaders, led by Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, then crafted the separate food stamp bill in an effort to appease conservatives who have been aggressively pushing for cuts to domestic food aid. [...]
The House bill also would tighten eligibility standards and try to reduce the rolls by allowing states to require drug testing for recipients. It would bar convicted murderers, rapists and pedophiles from receiving food stamps.