Bill to Reduce Food Stamp Costs Gains

<i> From Associated Press</i>

A bill that would lower food stamp spending by $23 billion over six years cleared the Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday. It also would require able beneficiaries to work.

The committee voted additional cuts of $3 billion from such child nutrition programs as summer meals for the poor and meals for day care centers, mostly by targeting the day care spending to the neediest. The savings and program changes were required under a plan by congressional Republicans to balance the budget and overhaul welfare programs.

Able-bodied adults without dependents would lose benefits if they did not work four months out of a year. Single mothers or anyone with dependents would be exempt from the work requirement. The bill will be included in a larger welfare bill that the Senate Finance Committee plans to consider next week.