Dem calls for minimum wage increase to reduce SNAP spending

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) on Monday argued that a minimum wage increase would help reduce spending on the federal food stamp program.

"We know that hunger is the subset of poverty," McGovern said on the House floor. "People would earn enough money to buy their own food."

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McGovern blasted GOP proposals to cut funding or limit the distribution for food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), such as requiring people to take drug tests before receiving benefits.

"None of these ideas are thoughtful or responsible," McGovern said. "They want to deny food to hungry people."

McGovern said that he supports a minimum wage increase to $10.10 over the current $7.25, but argued it could be even higher. He cited the city of Seattle's recent move to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

"We shouldn't be talking about a minimum wage. We should be talking about a living wage," McGovern said.

Later this week, the House is expected to consider the 2015 Agriculture appropriations bill, which includes funding for food stamps.