Shades of Gray

This bimonthly column seeks to understand how and why controversial decisions are made in Washington and the motivations behind them. Like the book by Jasper Fforde, it strives to demonstrate how one issue should be colored more charcoal and silver than black and white.

The Problem: The Republican-dominated House narrowly voted 217-210 to cut $39 billion from the food assistance program over the next 10 years. Eric Cantor brought the bill to the House and the vote was passed, mostly along party lines. One of the most important components of this cut is ending a program that granted four million Americans access to food stamps during the recession. The vote will now go to the Senate with the White House threatening a veto. Similar slashes in food assistance are already being enacted in several states.

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