House votes to expand veterans' eligibility for food stamps

The House on Wednesday adopted an amendment from Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) to allow veterans to apply for food stamps while their disability claims are pending with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Passed on a voice vote, Speier's amendment to the 2015 Agriculture appropriations bill would increase funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, by $1 million to handle claims from veterans.

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Speier said her proposal would allow the veterans to be eligible for SNAP benefits under the "disabled" category.

"This particular amendment addresses the issue of veterans in this country who are living on the edge. The 1.4 million veterans who are living in poverty, the 900,000 who are on food stamps," Speier said. 

No members objected to Speier's amendment.

"I think we can all agree that no disabled veteran should go hungry," said Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.). 

Passage of the Agriculture appropriations bill will likely be Thursday.