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House and Senate Face Deep Divide over Food Stamps

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Farm-state lawmakers hoping for passage of a farm bill by the end of the year will have to first bridge a deep divide between the House and the Senate over the role of the government in helping the nation’s poor.

The House passed a bill Thursday that would make around $4 billion in cuts annually to the almost $80 billion-a-year food stamp program and allow states to put broad new work requirements in place for recipients. A Senate-passed farm bill would make around a tenth of the amount those cuts, or $400 million a year.

The White House threatened a veto, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called the bill “hateful, punitive legislation.”

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