Pelosi Blasts Proposed $20.5 Billion Food Stamp Cuts

The House minority leader says that the proposed cuts could endanger the entire farm bill. 

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Nancy Pelosi (Getty Images)

On Wednesday the House of Representatives killed an amendment by Rep. James McGovern that would have eliminated planned food stamp cuts in the GOP's five-year farm bill, replacing the cuts with reductions to big agriculture subsidies. The bill currently includes $20.5 billion in food stamp cuts over the next 10 years (a number that could grow).

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi isn't happy about it, The Nation reports:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took to the House floor shortly before the vote on McGovern's amendment and urged Democrats to vote for it, which all but eight of them did. In an interview with The Nation in her Capitol office shortly after the vote, an exasperated Pelosi said the food stamp cuts could now endanger the entire farm bill.

"I don't know if this is even going to pass," she said. "I don't know what the Republicans have in votes, but they better have a lot."

Here's the problem: as it stands now, many Democrats, like McGovern, have said they simply won't vote for a farm bill with $20.5 billion in cuts, calling them a "poison pill."

There are some Democrats who will: thirteen Democrats on the agriculture committee, many from rural areas that badly want a farm bill to be passed, voted for the version of the farm bill with those cuts.

But Pelosi predicted that only "somewhere between two and three times" that many Democrats would vote for the final farm bill with that level of food stamp cuts, meaning that House Speaker John Boehner would have to get a majority of his caucus to vote yes on the farm bill for it to pass

Read more at The Nation.

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