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Food Stamp Battle Gets Spotlight Today

Food Stamp Battle Gets Spotlight Today

Congress could vote today to make major cuts to the food stamps program. Supporters say the bill would make sure only those that are eligible get the benefits. But opponents say all the bill would do is hurt those who are already hurting.

Brian Greene is the President and CEO of the Houston Food Bank and told KTRH those in Congress don't know how tough people on food stamps have it.

“It works out to four dollars a day per recipient. I’ve been doing that as a challenge, trying to live on four dollars a day for food. It’s pretty rough,” Greene said.

And it's rough for many Texans. Recent numbers show 17.2 percent of Texans live in poverty. Congressman Pete Olson is voting for the cuts and told KTRH it's about making sure only those who need the help get it.

“No individual who meets the income and asset guidelines for the SNAP program will be denied access to benefits,” Olson said.

Even though the bill is expected to pass the House easily, it looks like there will be a bigger fight in the Senate.

“Hopefully we could find some middle ground,” Olson said. “We need to maintain reforms that protect the taxpayers and the people who truly need help.”

So the fight is expected to continue for a long time. Greene told KTRH that even though the program nationally has expanded from 15 billion dollars to 75 billion dollars over the last 12 years it is working.

“It’s doing what it’s supposed to do. Because of the recession we’ve had a big increase in unemployment and a very large increase in poverty,” he explained.

But the vote in the Senate is expected to go differently than in the House, which means this fight is far from over.

 

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