Sunday, January 21, 2018
Top News App

GOP leads House vote to cut back food stamps

WASHINGTON — House Republicans narrowly approved deep reductions to the food stamp program Thursday that would reduce or eliminate benefits for nearly 4 million Americans, setting up an all but certain showdown with the Senate.

GOP leaders yielded to conservative demands to make austere cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program after lawmakers rejected an earlier proposal as part of the usually popular farm bill. Leaders separated the food stamp provision from the farm-subsidy legislation to ensure both bills would pass.

The White House said the president would veto the legislation if it survived the Senate. Democrats argued that seniors and active duty military families would be kicked off the food stamp program and that free school lunches would end for more than 200,000 children.

The House approved the bill 217-210, with more than a dozen Republicans opposed and no Democrats in favor.

"It's unconscionable, in our view, to literally take food out of the mouths of hungry Americans in order to, again, achieve some ideological goal," said White House spokesman Jay Carney. The legislation "is just terrible policy. And it's insensitive."

Republicans argued the $40 million in reductions in the program over the next decade are needed to reduce growing dependence on government programs.

The number of Americans receiving food stamps skyrocketed during the Great Recession, from about 26 million in 2007 to nearly 47 million in 2012, according to the Agriculture Department, which administers the program.

Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., said the changes will preserve access to food stamps for those in need, while "holding accountable those who are capable of helping themselves."

Democrats argued otherwise. "There's only one word that comes to mind: cruel," said Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y.

Now both the farm and food stamp bills will need to be merged with legislation from the Senate, which makes much more modest reductions in the nutrition program.

"The good news is, now that this vote is behind us, we are close to the finish line," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee. She called the House GOP effort a "monumental waste of time."

The Republican bill would change food stamp eligibility rules, in part by doing away with the ability of states to waive work-related requirements for able-bodied adults without children to continue receiving food stamps.

Among the Republicans opposing the bill were some from the few remaining politically contested districts, as well as others from regions where residents are dependent on food stamp subsidies.

The average monthly food stamp benefit is $133 per person, or $275 per household, according to the Agriculture Department.

Comments

Deputies: 18-year-old speeding on U.S. 19 rear-ended car, faces charges of DUI, fleeing scene

PALM HARBOR — A speeding teenager on U.S. 19 refused to stop for deputies and took off, later rear-ending a car and injuring three adults early Sunday morning, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.A little after 1:30 a.m., Kingzig Montan...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Forecast: Sunny, high of 78 in Tampa Bay

Forecast: Sunny, high of 78 in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — Temperatures should reach the upper 70s on a warm, sunny, mild Sunday, kicking off a mild week in Tampa Bay, forecasters predict. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10News WTSPFeels...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Woman dies after falling ‘several decks’ from a balcony on a Carnival cruise

Woman dies after falling ‘several decks’ from a balcony on a Carnival cruise

A woman sailing on a Carnival Cruise Line ship from Jacksonville fell from her cabin’s balcony and died Friday.Doral-based Carnival Cruise Line spokesman Vance Gulliksen confirmed the death Saturday, saying in a statement that the incident occurred e...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Record number of inmates died in Florida prisons last year. And they died younger than past years.

Record number of inmates died in Florida prisons last year. And they died younger than past years.

More inmates died in Florida prisons last year than in any other year on record, leaving the state scrambling to identify causes and find solutions. The tally, 428 inmate deaths in 2017, was released late Friday by the Florida Department of Correctio...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Leonard Pitts Jr.: One year later.

And here we are, one year later.If you are groping for markers by which to measure how profoundly we have been changed since Inauguration Day, here’s one you might want to consider:In January of 1998, reports surfaced of a sexual affair between Presi...
Published: 01/21/18
Tampa Bay jobs chief Ed Peachey making top dollar

Tampa Bay jobs chief Ed Peachey making top dollar

For years, Edward Peachey has bragged about the number of jobless people he has helped find work.As president and CEO of CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay, he’s in charge of the two main government agencies that provide training to the...
Published: 01/20/18
At end of the Gasparilla Children’s Parade, excitement builds

At end of the Gasparilla Children’s Parade, excitement builds

TAMPALife’s quite different at the tail end of the Gasparilla Children’s Parade than at the launching point.The funnel cakes and corn dogs are a bit less omnipresent. When the first cars and floats begin to journey down Bayshore Boulevard, you’re onl...
Published: 01/20/18
Diver from Dover dies in treacherous Eagle’s Nest cave

Diver from Dover dies in treacherous Eagle’s Nest cave

WEEKI WACHEE — The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday investigated the death of a Hillsborough County man in the Eagle’s Nest, an underwater network of caves where at least 11 others have died since 1981.Even experienced divers have lost th...
Published: 01/20/18
More than 1,000 cold-stunned sea turtles rescued in Florida Panhandle

More than 1,000 cold-stunned sea turtles rescued in Florida Panhandle

Florida’s dip into frigid temperatures did more than just stun humans unused to such cold air. This month scientists and volunteers have rescued more than 1,000 cold-stunned sea turtles from a single bay in the Florida Panhandle.The U.S. Geological S...
Published: 01/20/18
Orchestra sets off fireworks in the brassy ‘Sinfonietta’

Orchestra sets off fireworks in the brassy ‘Sinfonietta’

TAMPA — Many times during Sinfonietta, Leoš Janácek’s notoriously difficult but joyous work, it was impossible for a regular patron of the Florida Orchestra to escape this observation: They have never sounded quite like this.This isn’t to say musicia...
Published: 01/20/18