Democrats are poised to pass a bill today that will provide $26 billion in additional funding to help states cover Medicaid expenses and teacher salaries. To pay for the bill, however, they are accelerating the scale-back of food stamp payments — at a time when a record number of Americans are relying on food stamps.
In an unusual move, the House of Representatives interrupted its August recess this week to return to Washington to pass this aid bill. The legislation, which passed in the Senate last week, extends programs enacted in the stimulus package, with $16 billion for state health care programs and $10 billion to help school boards avoid teacher layoffs.
Democrats convinced two Republicans in the Senate to support the measure in part by ensuring it would not add to the deficit. That was in part accomplished by cutting food stamp payments beginning in 2014 by $12 billion. The cut would bring funding for the food stamp program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, back to pre-stimulus levels ahead of schedule.
Liberal Democrats say they are committed to restoring the funding, the Hill reports.
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