In Washington, it’s House Republicans vs. the Senate in a battle over food stamps. U.S Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston) oppose a House proposal that would cut $40 billion over the next 10 years from the funding to food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Schakowsky blames the eagerness to cut the program’s funding on misconceptions on the part of House Republicans.
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“There is this feeling that somehow this program is full of fraud, and people are just taking advantage,” Schakowsky said. Last month, the House of Representatives separated SNAP funding from the farm bill for the first time in almost 40 years. An earlier version of the farm bill failed to pass, despite $20 billion in proposed food stamp cuts. Durbin is on board with making smaller cuts, but says the new proposal goes too far. “It’s going nowhere in the Senate,” Durbin said. “We’re not going to sit still for these deep cuts in this program.”
Schakowsky claims that if the House proposal goes into effect, 3.6 million people would no longer be eligible for food stamps, and 450,000 children would lose their school lunch program.