The Senate has turned back an effort by Kentucky Republican Rand Paul to drastically cut food stamp spending and replace the food aid program with block grants to the states.
The 65-33 vote to defeat the Paul amendment was part of debate on a five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm and food bill.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, makes up about $80 billion of the $100 billion a year cost of the farm bill, providing aid to some 46 million people.
The farm bill would reduce food stamp spending by $4 billion over the next decade by eliminating abuses. Paul's amendment would have saved $322 billion over the same period by capping spending at $45 billion a year and turning over funding decisions to the states.