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-- one of the big fights in the fiscal cliff stand -- house to do with cutting entitlements.
And one such program is food stamps.
-- well intentioned it has grown dramatically up 39%.
Since President Obama took office.
And it is exempt from the sequestered cuts that are part of the fiscal -- Well tonight correspondent Shannon -- on the expense of history of -- possibly benefit.
The precursor to today's food stamp program the supplemental nutrition assistance program or snap.
Is rooted in the late 1930s and early forties when federal officials look to solve two problems at once.
By making sure urban families in need could obtain some of the surplus that rural farmers needed to unload.
The program ended when the imbalance between the need and surplus was extinguished.
It was restarted in the 1960s and has existed in several different -- since then.
By 1970 there were four point three million recipients fast forward to 2012.
That number is up by more than a 1000%.
To 47 point seven million.
It's a guaranteed thing it's an entitlement programs on that means that I if you -- the income provocation the government must give you the money.
Whether the government has any money to give you are not.
If they don't they have to -- it.
That's right spending on food stamps which hit nearly 75 billion dollars in fiscal year 2012.
Is currently non negotiable it's exempt from automatic sequestration cuts should they -- and and despite Republican senator Jeff Sessions efforts it's not on the table as part of the efforts to negotiate closing the growing gap between revenue and spending.
US Department of Agriculture which administers the program says quote.
The increase -- -- participation during the 2008 to ten period of economic decline.
Which included the recent recession was consistent with the increase during previous periods of economic decline.
But ask the unemployment rates slowly drops the number of those participating in snap continues to rise skeptics point to one -- back.
They're a lot of people don't realize one of the provisions.
In the 2009 economic stimulus bill.
Was too that they're essentially eviscerate all the work requirements for food stamps so.
Today in most states there is no requirement whatsoever to work in exchange for these benefits.
The USDA maintains that the -- program does have a work requirement for able bodied adults who do not have dependents.
And it's up to the states to enforce the specific guidelines -- Shannon thank you.
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