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Stutzman supports food-stamp cuts

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, voiced his support Thursday for a federal nutrition bill that would cut $40 billion during a 10-year period from the food-stamp program.

The legislation “eliminates loopholes, ensures work requirements and puts us on a fiscally responsible path,” Stutzman said in a floor speech broadcast by C-SPAN.

“In the real world, we measure success by results,” he said. “It’s time for Washington to measure success by how many families are lifted out of poverty and helped back on their feet, not by how much Washington bureaucrats spend year after year.”

Federal spending on food stamps has doubled in the last five years, to nearly $80 billion a year.

The House is expected to vote on the nutrition bill Thursday. During speeches and debate, Democratic members of the House opposed the legislation, contending it would cut assistance to 3.8 million needy Americans, including 170,000 military veterans.

Republicans defended the bill, saying it merely requires adult food-stamp recipients without dependents to be working or looking for work.

Stutzman called the bill “a victory for common sense” that would help end “an unholy alliance between food stamps and farm policy.”

The House voted in July to separate the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the five-year farm bill into separate pieces of legislation, a move Stutzman had pushed in amendments to the farm bill.

A farm bill approved by the Senate contains SNAP, reducing its spending by $400 million during a 10-year period.

The House bill "isn't going anyplace in the Senate," Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said during debate. "The president wouldn't sign it. So I don't know what we're doing."