TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Food stamp amendment rejected by Senate

Getty Images
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., says reform is needed to convert 'a charity bill' into legislation that would truly help farmers.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 8:12 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Wednesday rejected a GOP bid to turn the federal food stamp program over to the states.

Known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the food stamp program is administered by the Agriculture Department and federal dollars are unlimited as long as recipients qualify. The program cost $78 billion last year, more than double the price in 2008.

A proposal by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., on a wide-ranging farm bill would have converted the program into grants to states, which could decide how to use the money, with certain restrictions. The Senate rejected the amendment 60-36.

The total amount of the grants would have been capped at between $46 billion and $54 billion a year over 10 years. Inhofe said the change would make the bill, which long has set policy for domestic food aid as well as agriculture programs, “into a farm bill and not a charity bill.”

Food stamps have come under renewed scrutiny as the program's costs have ballooned in recent years. Many Republicans have favored changing the SNAP program into grants, though the idea has never gained much traction in Congress.

Last year, more than 47 million people used SNAP. The numbers have risen rapidly because of the economic downturn, higher food prices and expanded eligibility under the 2009 economic stimulus law.

Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, who heads the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, said Inhofe's plan would mean “devastating results for millions of families who are trying to feed their children.”

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Wis. woman identified shooter before dying, court papers show
  2. Legendary ‘Walking Dead’ unit deactivated by Marines
  3. Bucks County Playhouse devotes year to budding lyricists
  4. Rosa Parks items sell for $4.5M
  5. Judge strikes down Texas abortion law
  6. Astronomers get look at birth of huge galaxy
  7. Half-ton alligator sets world record
  8. Uzi victim’s family feels sorry for girl, 9, who squeezed trigger
  9. Pilot in F-15 crash was decorated veteran
  10. Odds of ‘megadrought’ in Southwest rises to 50%, study says
  11. Next hurdle for health care likely tax season
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.