Plan to slash food stamp benefits passes House, divides NC delegation

By a 217-210 margin, the U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to approve some $40 billion in cuts over the next 10 years to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program know as SNAP. Supporters argued the sweeping reforms would encourage people to find work, while critics said the legislation would deny food stamp benefits to 3.8 million Americans starting in 2014.

Only 15 Republicans voted against slashing the food assistance benefits, including Rep. Walter Jones of Pitt County, where the unemployment rate stands at 9.6 percent. Jones released a statement following the vote, noting that the bill would disproportionately harm children, seniors and disabled adults:

“The sad fact is that instead of cutting off a lifeline for millions of Americans, we could save equally as much money by eliminating foreign aid for just one year.  In my opinion, that is the approach we ought to be taking.”

Here’s how the rest of North Carolina’s House delegation voted Thursday:

Rep. Renee Ellmers – 2nd District
Rep. Virginia Foxx – 5th District
Rep. Howard Coble – 6th District
Rep. Richard Hudson – 8th DistrictSNAPvote
Rep. Robert Pittenger – 9th District
Rep. Patrick McHenry – 10th District
Rep. Mark Meadows – 11th District
Rep. George Holding – 13th District

Rep. G.K. Butterfield – 1st District
Rep. Walter Jones – 3rd District
Rep. David Price – 4th District
Rep. Mike McIntyre – 7th District
Rep. Mel Watt – 12th District

The measure now moves to the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate.


  1. Juan V

    September 19, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    So do you think people should have to go without food or have a decent job?

    How the US Government Stole $23 Trillion from the American People… true story, ask Henry Paulson where the money went.


  2. Frances Jenkins

    September 19, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    All it says if you are an able body person, you must work for your food stamps in a community service job.

  3. ML

    September 20, 2013 at 4:59 am

    It is food. Funny how auto correct changed food to good but I corrected the typo.

  4. ML

    September 20, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Thank you Walter Jones for taking the lead from g-Vegas…

  5. Jasmine

    September 20, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Sure that makes sense, lets force people to do community service because that wont interfere with their time to find paying jobs. Especially when congress hasn’t fixed this game of musical chairs we have going on with employment. That way when people have exhausted their food stamps, which they will have to rely on while they perform their free labor, they will still be unemployed. Brilliant…

    Perhaps instead of voting on ways to further disadvantage our most vulnerable members of the population, these representatives should lower their own salaries and allowances. Then we could stop wasting tax dollars on paying people whose idea of a solution only expand serious social problems in our country.

  6. NCCaniac42

    September 20, 2013 at 10:03 am

    The GOP members that voted to slash the SNAP benefits should be Voted OUT OF OFFICE. What a bunch of nasty nasty nasty people. Nothing like hurting your constituents when they are already suffering.

  7. Alan

    September 20, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    When democrats get complacent and don’t vote, this is what you end up with. I can only hope what we’re witnessing here in NC is a stark reminder of the importance of participating in EVERY election.

    The members who voted for this measure have no conscience and no morals. Vote them out!

  8. Lee

    September 20, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    So many people do not realize that a lot of people on food stamps choose not to work at all. Many people out there are second and third generations on stamps. These people buy soda, cakes, chips, and other items that don’t have any nutritional value. I work in a store and I see people all the time that have two or three different cards. That shows me that either people are still selling their food stamps or they are scamming the system. I know that some people out there do need help, but let’s limit it a little better. I know some elderly people on fixed incomes that only get $10 or $20 a month and I also know some people that have never had a job in their lives who are able to work yet choose to live on the system that get $900 or $1200 a month because they have 3 or 4 kids. That doesn’t seem fair to me.
    I don’t see how it’s fair that people that choose to live off the system eat better than a lot of us that do work. My husband and I both work full time jobs we don’t make much it’s a struggle to buy groceries at times, but we do it. Most times I spend around $400 a month on a family of four. My kids would love to have soda or cookies I work and most times can’t afford things of that nature. Food stamps buy those things. Something is wrong with that.
    I can’t afford to have my hair or nails done yet a lot of women that use food stamps at my job always have theirs done. Don’t get me wrong I know that there are a lot of people out there that are down on their luck and need the help, but let’s not forget about the people out there that are scamming the system. There should be a better program in place to stop all the fraud. It makes me sick to see so many people getting over. And for God sakes let’s give our elderly more help.

  9. william

    September 21, 2013 at 1:49 am

    sad…i have a felony for a non violent crime and it was 4 years ago. i am 46 and cannot find a job because most companies go back 7 years or even more. this is the only thing i have ever done wrong in my life .i am at my wits end. i have had 3 job offers but when the background check comes back they dont even bother to call me back to tell me no. i have no other income but food stamps. i have my kids every other weekend so my food stamps are mainly spent on cheap food and i try to make sure they have a few good microwave meals. i cannot claim them as i am not the primary parent. i guess that sooner or later the police will pick me up for non payment of child support so maybe then i will have a support system to help me find employment.. i am truly lost and do not know what to do, other than keep applying everywhere. i was laid off in 2011, applied for snap and got a whole $15 a month.”working” to pay off food stamps sounds good but i dont even have gas to go ANYWHERE but to look for a job.
    which means going to the esc as i dont have a cpu or a printer .the only option i see is doing off the books work or god only knows what….sad but true!

  10. RJ

    September 21, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Lee, I feel sorry for you, unable to buy cookies for your poor children. So glad though that you have the leisure time and money to be able to read this blog, concoct an anecdote or two, and have internet connectivity so you can post your nonsense. I’m only surprised you didn’t mention a Cadillac in there somewhere.

    Since you’re so hard-working yet poor, I can only assume you are e-mailing from your Obamaphone.

  11. Jack Sprat

    September 21, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    First of all, anyone who actually LOOKS at the facts will see that these requirements are NOTHING NEW. In fact, when you critics “pull yer heads out” and glance around, you’ll realize that fan-favorite BILL CLINTON enacted these restrictions during his terms in office. And they were applauded by almost every Democrat at the time.

    BUT, since the new-kid-in-the-house Biggy-O dropped them a few years ago, they’ve suddenly become the worst ideas in the world. It’s funny, though, that some people don’t understand how the “food stamp” program, now called SNAP, is supposed to (as the S stands for) be SUPPLEMENTAL. Yet people constantly complain because they “can’t live on the small amount provided”…

    Well, I’ve been in a bit of a different position than Lee up there to see exactly who uses what, and how elderly people really are crapped upon by this system, when young people bounce into an office and apply so they don’t have to actually DO ANYTHING and still eat. As far as it goes no, nobody should ever go hungry, but if they’re ABLE TO DO ANY KIND OF WORK AT ALL, then they should do something. Or get nothing. That’s the way life’s actually supposed to work.

    Help those IN NEED, fine. But people who chose NOT to do for themselves, should reap the rewards of their behavior.

  12. david esmay

    September 22, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Wow, the GOPer’s have hired some new trolls, Sprat, RJ, and Lee all just earned a nickle.

  13. RJ

    September 23, 2013 at 7:35 am

    David, I think your sarcasm detector failed you when reading my post. Or my sarcasm producer failed when writing it.

  14. Jack Sprat

    September 23, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Actually, david esmay, I am neither Republicrat or Demublican… I have the perspective of common sense and actual facts to back my words. If you took any time at all from this kind of website that (probably) feeds your every need, you’d actually Google the information for yourself.

    Bill Clinton http://cgi.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/news/9608/22/welfare.sign/ started all of this. He did it to the astonishment of all his adoring fans, and it went well for the country. Biggy-O dropped the requirements and changed a few things to give people a break in 2012 after his policies FAILED to provide jobs that people could move into and “off the dole.”

    What really amazes me is the fact that there are people who can accept the idea that someone who CAN WORK should get something for NO WORK. I’m all for the seniors who have worked all their lives being able to sustain themselves with a little help, and I know there are people out there that can’t work. BUT there is a generation of young people who will never truly know what’s required of them to survive in the world if we don’t SHOW THEM and actually EXPECT THEM to do for themselves in order to live. I’d rather have the government require people to show up at a time and place for job training and volunteer work (that can TRAIN THEM for a job) and feed them meals and a small stipend to take home with the goal of helping them get a job and KEEP a job, rather than have them know that they can just sit around, claim “man, there ain’t no jobs out there” and have no worries for themselves. Because people NEED INCENTIVE to do for themselves, and if you don’t understand how this kind of thinking tears nations apart then you have no understanding of history at all.

  15. Jack Sprat

    September 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Also, I’d like to point out that there are several countries who are beginning to outpace us in many ways, and their “social safety net” is nowhere near as comprehensive as ours, nor do their people get a chance to grow complacent off the government.
    And, our country simply cannot survive unless our people go to work. Find it or make it, a person with a job increases an economy a lot more than an able-bodied person doing nothing and still living off of the work of others. THAT should be common sense, but apparently it’s not (at least, not among those who review this website).

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