House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) scored a major legislative achievement as he led House conservatives to a 217-210 victory on Thursday’s vote for the GOP’s food stamp reform bill.
“This bill is designed to give people a hand when they need it most,” said Cantor on the House floor just before the bill’s passage. “And most people don’t choose to be on food stamps. Most people want a job.”
The bill would encourage self-sufficiency and reduce waste, fraud, and abuse by restructuring so-called “categorical eligibility” provisions which allow a person who qualifies for one taxpayer-funded welfare program to automatically receive others, regardless of whether the individual meets income or other eligibility requirements. The bill would save taxpayers an estimated $39 billion over the next 10 years.
Fifteen Republicans broke with House conservatives and voted against the food stamp bill. They are:
- Rep. Peter King (R-NY) (NY)
- Shelley Moore Capito (WV)
- Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) (NY)
- Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) (NC)
- Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) (NY)
- Chris Smith (NJ)
- Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) (NJ)
- Rep. Don Young (R-AK) (AK)
- Frank Wolf (VA)
- Mike Fitzpatrick (PA)
- Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) (NE)
- Michael Grimm (NY)
- Patrick Meehan (PA)
- Gary Miller (CA)
- Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) (CA)
The Washington Post said that “the successful vote is a significant victory for House Majority Leader Eric I. Cantor (R-Va.), who broke with four decades of congressional precedence and decided to split apart the farm bill this summer. He gambled big, and won a narrow victory.”
President Barack Obama has already said he will veto the bill if it reaches his desk.