The House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill Thursday that would significantly cut food assistance.
The bill passed with a primarily partisan vote — 217 to 210 — and would cut $39 billion over the next ten years from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Republicans who champion the bill say it puts Congress on a fiscally responsible path, whereas Democrats called the cuts “draconian” and argue it will hurt the hungry.
Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack issued a statement calling the House version of the bill highly partisan:
The harmful plan championed today by House leadership would deny critical nutrition assistance for millions of Americans, including working families with children, senior citizens, veterans, and adults who are still looking for work.
Historically, nutrition funding has been included in the farm bill, but in July, House leaders split farm and nutrition funding into separate measures.
The current farm bill is set to expire September 30.