US Congress to cut $9bn in food stamps

US lawmakers are set to announce a deal that would cut $9 billion in funding for food stamps.

US lawmakers are set to announce a deal on a new multi-year farm bill that would cut $9 billion in funding for the food stamp program over the next ten years.

Leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees are likely to announce next week a compromise farm bill that would reduce food stamp payments to needy Americans in order to save almost $9 billion, aides familiar with the talks told The Washington Post.

The cuts are a compromise between nearly $40 billion in cuts to the program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), approved by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a $4 billion reduction approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The SNAP provides food stamps for nearly 48 million Americans.

The likely cut in funding for the program comes as US lawmakers, who are seeking to remain in Congress after this yearâ„¢s mid-term elections, are engaged in debates over income inequality.

The Senate is currently debating a proposal to extend unemployment benefits for long-term unemployed Americans.

On December 28, 1.3 million Americans lost their unemployment benefits after Congress failed to extend an emergency federal program under which jobless American workers received unemployment insurance payments.

Some economists have estimated that the number of Americans impacted by the loss of benefits will rise to 5 million before the end of 2014 if Congress does not address the issue.

Fifty years ago, then-US President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who took office after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, declared a war on poverty in the US.

However, five decades after Johnsonâ„¢s declaration of an unconditional war on US poverty, US government data show Americaâ„¢s poverty rate is about 16 percent, with some 47 million Americans living below the poverty line.

ISH/ISH

With permission
Source: Press TV