House rejects efforts to restore SNAP cuts, overhaul foreign food aid

by Jay Sjerven
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WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives on June 19 by a vote of 234 to 188 rejected an amendment to the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act that would have restored the bill’s $20.5 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The amendment was sponsored by Representative James P. McGovern of Massachusetts. The vote was mostly along party lines with only eight Democrats joining Republicans in voting against the amendment and only five Republicans joining Democrats in voting to restore the cuts to SNAP.

The House voted by a surprisingly narrow margin, 220-203, to reject an amendment to the farm bill offered by Representative Edward Royce of California that would have implemented President Barack Obama’s proposed overhaul of U.S. international food assistance. The measure would allow up to 45% of funds authorized for U.S. international food assistance to be used in purchasing food in countries other than the United States while reserving 55% of authorized funds for purchasing and transporting U.S. agricultural commodities to nations and peoples in need.

An amendment offered by Representative Steve Chabot of Ohio that would have ended funding for the Market Access Program failed.

And an amendment offered by Representative Richard Hudson of North Carolina that would allow states to conduct drug testing of SNAP applicants as a condition for receiving benefits was agreed to by a voice vote.

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