WASHINGTON, Sept 19 The Republican-run U.S. House of Representatives voted to cut spending on food stamps for the poor by $40 billion on Thursday, defying a veto threat from the White House in the name of fiscal reform.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the driving force behind the legislation, said "it's wrong for working, middle-class people to pay" for abuse of the program, whose costs have skyrocketed in recent years. Democrats pointed to nonpartisan estimates that the bill would end benefits to 4 million needy people in 2014.
Representatives passed the bill on a party-line vote, 217-200. Speaker John Boehner said passage would trigger long-awaited negotiations with the Democratic-controlled Senate over a new $500 billion farm bill, already a year overdue.