WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has voted to keep a $400 million annual cut - or roughly a half of 1 percent - to the food stamp program in a farm bill it is considering this week.
Food stamps now cost almost $80 billion annually. The chamber rejected by a 58-40 vote an amendment by Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas to expand the cuts to $3.5 billion a year. Senators also rejected, 70-26, an amendment by Democratic Sen. Kristen Gillibrand of New York to eliminate the cuts entirely.
The domestic food aid, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, makes up almost 80 percent of the five-year farm bill, which would cost $100 billion annually. A House version of the farm bill would cut $2 billion a year from the program, which has doubled in cost since 2008.