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Minnesota delegation split on party lines as food stamp cuts pass House

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The U.S. House voted Thursday to cut $39 billion over the next ten years in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

NBC news reports that the Republican-led House passed the bill on a 217-210 vote, 15 Republicans voted against the bill, while not a single Democrat voted in favor of it.

Minnesota's congressional delegation voted strictly along party lines. The Star Tribune reports that Republican U.S. Reps. Michele Bachmann, John Kline, and Erik Paulsen backed the bill, while Democratic U.S. Reps. Collin Peterson, Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, Rick Nolan, and Tim Walz all voted no.

With the bill approved, Republican leaders are now expected to begin negotiations with Senate Democrats on the farm bill, although there is no timetable set as to when those negotiations will begin. The current farm bill though is slated to run out at the end of September.

In June house leaders removed SNAP after the farm bill failed a floor vote. Republicans then passed a farm bill without it.

Republicans point to explosive growth in the food stamp program over the last decade as the need for the cuts. But the Senate passed a farm bill with only four billion dollars in cuts to food stamps.

MinnPost reports that if the cuts were to become law 32,000 Minnesotans could be affected.

President Obama has threatened to veto the House version of the bill.

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