House Republicans plan to propose a $40 billion cut to the nation’s food stamp program, the head of the House Agriculture Committee said on Thursday, doubling the number of cuts previously sought by conservatives.
Committee Chairman Frank Lucas said legislation on the food assistance program, known as SNAP, would be the second part of any talks on the U.S. farm bill with the Senate.
Lucas told lobbyists during a lunch speech in Washington that a Republican working group agreed on cuts expected to total $40 billion and could include steps such as mandatory drugs tests and employment rules.
“The Republican leadership plans to bring up yet another political messaging bill to nowhere in an effort to try and placate the extreme right wing of their party,” Collin Peterson, the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, said in a statement.
In June the House defeated a farm bill that included $20 billion in food stamp cuts, primarily because conservatives wanted cuts as high as $100 billion.