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Congress haggles over food stamp funding

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WASHINGTON — Food stamps have been part of the Farm Bill since the 1970s. Now House Republicans want to change that, and many Democrats are furious.

Republicans want to deal with that separately because costs are skyrocketing, but Democrats accused them of taking food out of the mouths of the poor. After a nasty debate the GOP-led House has passed a scaled-back Farm Bill, minus the food stamp program.

Costs for the $80-billion a year food stamp program have more than doubled in the last five years due to the tough economy and a willing congress.

The program now serves one in seven Americans, 47-million people. The average benefit is $130 a month per person, $270 a month per household.

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