Food stamps have emerged as one of the key points of disagreement keeping Congress from approving a new farm bill. One in seven Americans received government food aide last year. The Senate already approved a farm measure that cuts the program, but House Republicans want to cut even more by limiting who is eligible for the program. Democratic US Senator Dick Durbin says that is the wrong way to save money:
"We are not going to balance this budget on the backs of hard working families that have to go to food stamps or to food pantries to keep their families together a week before payday. I mean, that's a heck of a way to say that we're going to balance the budget. I don't think that that's humane or sensible."
The Congressional Budget Office says since 2007 the weak economy has led to a 70% increase in the number of people receiving food stamps. During that time, spending on the program increased at an even higher rate, 135%.
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