House Passes Food Stamp Reform, 15 Republicans Defect

House Passes Food Stamp Reform, 15 Republicans Defect

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:

  • Peter King (NY)
  • Shelley Moore Capito (WV) 
  • Chris Gibson (NY)
  • Walter Jones (NC)
  • Richard Hanna (NY)
  • Chris Smith (NJ)
  • Frank LoBiondo (NJ) 
  • Don Young (AK) 
  • Frank Wolf (VA)
  • Mike Fitzpatrick (PA)
  • Jeff Fortenberry (NE)
  • Michael Grimm (NY)
  • Patrick Meehan (PA) 
  • Gary Miller (CA)
  • David Valadao (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.

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