News Summary: Deep divide in Congress over domestic food aid in massive farm bill

DOWNSIZING: The House and Senate Agriculture Committees have laid the groundwork this week for reducing the size of the federal food stamp program, approving farm bills that would shrink the aid and alter the way people qualify for it.

BIG CUTS: The House legislation would cut food stamps about $2.5 billion a year, or about 3 per cent. A Senate bill would cut less than a fifth of that amount. Last year more than 47 million people used the program.

DEEP DIVIDE: Debate over the food stamp cuts was heated, with defenders of the program saying the bills would take food from children and the elderly.