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Vote on food stamp cuts expected Thursday in U.S. House

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A vote is expected on Thursday in the U.S. House that could lead to a reduction in food stamps by nearly 40 billion dollars over 10 years.

According to a Minnesota Public Radio Report, a cut of that size would eliminate benefits to 40,000 Minnesotans.

Officials in Minnesota are worried if food shelves in the state will be able to pick up the slack for those who lose assistance, with the cuts. Already according to the US Department of Agriculture 1 in 10 Minnesotans lacks consistent access to healthy food.

The issue first surfaced in June after House Republicans removed funding for food stamps from the farm bill after disagreement over the size of cuts in the program.

The House vote on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the first of several votes expected in the next few weeks as Congress tries to deal with the budget, before the potential of a federal government shutdown.

Following the removal of SNAP from the farm bill, the House was able to pass a scaled down version of the farm bill, which now must be reconciled with the Senate bill, which cut food stamps by $4 billion.

According to a report in the USA Today though the cost of the food program has exploded over the last decade. The report says in 2001 the program served 17 million people and cost just over $15 billion, but by 2012 there were more than 46 million people enrolled in the program at a cost of $75 billion.

Few think the cuts voted on Thursday will become law though, as the Democratic controlled Senate is not expected to go along.

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