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House Republicans Vote to Slash Food Stamps, Letting 3.8 Million Americans Go Hungry

by: Katie Singh

Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 07:30 PM CDT

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted this picture today to remind Republicans not to let Americans go hungry--they didn't listen

This afternoon, the House of Representatives passed the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act in a vote of 217-210. The bill slashes the budget for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, more commonly known as food stamps) by $40 billion over the next decade. The budget cuts would deny SNAP benefits to 3.8 million people in 2014, and remove an additional 3 million people each year over the course of the next decade. Among those who could lose their benefits are 170,000 veterans and 210,000 children who will no longer receive free lunch.

The bill is an additional blow to families who rely on SNAP. A provision of the Recovery Act that had provided additional SNAP benefits is set to expire on November 1, leaving families with $20-25 less per month, which is a huge setback to people who can often only spend $2 per meal. Texas, where 1 in 5 families face food insecurity, would be hit especially hard by the new bill's massive budget cuts. According to the Texas Food Bank Network, 171,000 Texans could lose their SNAP benefits entirely.

The SNAP bill, along with the agriculture bill the House passed earlier this summer, will now have to be reconciled with the Senate's farm bill, which cuts only $4 billion from SNAP over the next decade. No matter what compromise is reached, food stamp benefits will almost certainly be cut--the only question now is by how much.

See how the Texas delegation voted on the House nutrition bill after the jump.

Unsurprisingly, the Texas delegation voted entirely on party lines. Every Texas Republican voted in favor of the bill, proving once again that they care very little about their constituents who live in poverty. A summary of the roll call vote is below.

Yea Nay
Louie Gohmert [R] Al Green [D]
Ted Poe [R] Rubén Hinojosa [D]
Sam Johnson [R] Beto O'Rourke [D]
Ralph Hall [R] Sheila Jackson Lee [D]
Jeb Hensarling [R] Joaquin Castro [D]
Joe Barton[R] Pete Gallego[D]
John Culberson[R] Henry Cuellar[D]
Kevin Brady[R] Gene Green[D]
Michael McCaul[R] Eddie Johnson[D]
Michael Conaway[R] Marc Veasey[D]
Kay Granger[R] Filemon Vela[D]
Mac Thornberry[R] Lloyd Doggett[D]
Randy Weber[R]
Bill Flores[R]
Randy Neugebauer[R]
Lamar Smith[R]
Pete Olson[R]
Kenny Marchant[R]
Roger Williams[R]
Michael Burgess[R]
Blake Farenthold[R]
John Carter[R]
Pete Sessions[R]
Steve Stockman[R]

During the debate on the House floor, Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Alpine) stood up for Texans by proposing a motion to recommit, a last-minute amendment that would "prohibit the underlying bill from delaying the issuance of benefits to veterans, the elderly, pregnant women, or children in the event of a Government shutdown or default." Unfortunately, the amendment was defeated and the cuts passed in their entirety.

Watch a video of Rep. Gallego's remarks below.

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