Thursday: 2014 spending, food stamp cuts in the House

Today, the House will only approve the rule for the spending resolution, which allows no amendments to be considered. Passage of the resolution itself will happen Friday.

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Also up today is another controversial bill — H.R. 3102, the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act. This bill would eliminate a waiver states can use to offer people access to the federal food stamp program for longer than three months.

Under current law, people using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are limited to three months of benefits, unless they are either working at least 20 hours a week, or preparing for work as part of a job training program. Current law lets states seek waivers from that work requirement in tough economic times, and the GOP bill up today kills that waiver option.

Democrats will strenuously oppose this bill, as it would cut $39 billion from SNAP over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office says the bill would cut 3.8 million people from SNAP in the first year alone.

The House is expected to pass this bill today under a rule that allows for no amendments to be considered.

Members will also take up a land use bill today — H.R. 1526, the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act. Among other things, this bill would promote increased timber harvest on national forest lands.

The House will begin work on the forest bill and debate up to seven amendments. But final passage of this bill is expected on Friday.

The Senate starts at 9:30 a.m. and will again try to make progress on an amendment deal for S. 1392, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act. The Senate has been stuck on this bill since last week.