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Published September 19, 2013, 06:20 PM

House passes its version of Nutrition Assistance Program

The United States House has just passed its version of the nutrition assistance program. It was a close vote with 217 for and 210 against.

By: Victor Correa, WDAZ

The United States House has just passed its version of the nutrition assistance program. It was a close vote with 217 for and 210 against.

If passed into law, the highly debated bill would slash 39 billion dollars from food stamp funding over the next 10 years. The nutrition assistance program is the second part to the house's farm bill. When voting on the bill earlier this summer, the food stamp portion was separated from the rest of the bill, a move that many in the senate were unhappy with.

Where one side of the coin sees it as reducing cost and saving money -- the other side sees it strictly as cuts. Nearly all democratic representatives were expected to vote against the proposal according to the Washington Post. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, against the proposed cuts, was hoping the house's version of this bill would not have passed.

"This program helps working families and unemployed families, seniors, disabled, children get some food assistance and it's not a big deal, we're talking a little bit over four dollars a day," said Heitkamp.

The next step is to have conferees from both the house and the senate take both versions of the farm bills and make a comprehensive bill to present to the President. The deadline for a finalized farm bill is September 30th but the original deadline was September 30th of last year. Congressman Kevin Cramer said he's confident a bill will be drafted by the deadline.

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