Food stamp amendment rejected by Senate
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
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Nurse defies Maine quarantine in standoff over Ebola
- Few knew of cyber attack on White House computer network
- Unaccompanied immigrants put heavy strain on schools, charities
- Museum saves part of bomber plant
- Gray wolf sighting reported at Grand Canyon
- Hawaii’s National Guard sent to lava flow site
- Terminally ill woman may delay planned Nov. 1 suicide
- Botched probe of suspected arms dealer echoed Fast and Furious, watchdog finds
- Plane slams into pilot training center at Kansas airport, killing 4
- Ferguson grand jury cleared in leaks about police shooting of black teenager
- Hillary Clinton’s remark at Mass. rally about jobs left out words, aide says