Take Two for October 22, 2013

Families on food stamps face cuts to benefits on November 1

Activists Protest House Farm Bill Plan To Cut Food Assistance Program

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Gracie Shannon-Sanborn, 5, holds a sign as she joins her father Allen Sanborn (L) and members of Progressive Democrats of America and other activists as they hold a rally in front of Rep. Henry Waxman's office on June 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The protestors were asking the congressman to vote against a House farm bill that would reduce federal spending on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program by $20.5 billion and affect food stamps and other services for the poor.

A major deadline is looming next week that will strip $5 billion for the fiscal year from the nation's food stamp program.

The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program — or SNAP — has seen several slight increases as part of the federal stimulus program that are all expiring at the end of the month unless Congress intervenes. Republicans want to cut $4 billion a year from the program where Democrats want to see cuts of $400 million.

Beginning in 2009, the federal stimulus increased SNAP funding by $45.2 billion, increasing the monthly benefit from $588 to $668 a month for a family of four. If the stimulus is not extended, SNAP recipients will receive a 5 percent cut, bringing the monthly benefit to $632 a month. The benefits currently go to 47 million Americans every month. 

It's unlikely the two sides will be able to put a deal together before next week's deadline. 


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