House Bill Would Drug Test Food Stamp Applicants

House GOP members added an amendment to the five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill Wednesday that would give states the right to drug test food stamp applicants.

Despite Democratic opposition, Republicans have been pushing for stricter requirements to qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP.

Under current law, states can only force SNAP applicants to take a drug test if they have been convicted of drug-related offenses.SNAP costs have gone from $35 billion in 2007 to $80 billion in 2012, according to The Washington Examiner, and the bill would cut $20.5 billion from the program over the next ten years.

If the House passes the legislation, it will still need to be reconciled with the Senate bill, which only cuts $4.1 billion from the SNAP program and does not contain the drug testing amendment.

The farm bill, which includes the funding for the SNAP, also funds agriculture subsidies like the federal crop insurance program.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Perry is a News Writer for Talking Points Memo based in Washington D.C. Prior to TPM, she was a reporter-research at The New Republic and worked for her hometown paper, The Miami Herald. Perry can be reached at perry@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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