Republican House leadership has begun urging members to vote for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) bill organized by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) that would cut $40 billion from food stamps over 10 years, according to a report in yesterday’s Hagstrom Report.   House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said at a news conference today that she will absolutely urge Democrats to vote against the Cantor bill but that she does not have to do that because “the momentum is really springing from our members.”

House GOP leaders also plan to include in the bill reauthorizing the federal food stamp program a requirement that able-bodied people must work or be looking for work in order to receive food stamps, according to The Hill.   Republicans have sought to restore the work requirement since the Obama administration told states in 2012 that it could be waived. The GOP has said that decision gutted a key reform from 1996 that helped thousands of people leave the welfare rolls, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA.) said the House would try to fix this mistake next week.  “No law-abiding beneficiary who meets the income and asset test of the current program and is willing to comply with applicable work requirements will lose their benefits under the bill,” he said on the House floor Thursday. 

Cantor said the bill, the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act, would be introduced in the coming days by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and considered next week.