UPDATED: May 18, 12:16 p.m.
The Republican-controlled House Agriculture Committee on Thursday approved a version of the 2013 farm bill that cuts more than $20 billion in funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over 10 years.
A handful of House Democrats have vowed to oppose the legislation until some of the SNAP funding is restored, as George Zornick reported in The Nation.
“The $20.5 billion cut in SNAP is a poison pill," said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., at a Thursday press conference. "It means that we shouldn’t be supporting the farm bill." read more
The death toll from the worst disaster in the history of the garment industry--the collapse last month of the factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh--is over 1,100. The horror intensified pressure on garment retailers to take responsibility for their workplaces overseas.
In response, more than a dozen European retailers and brands, including H&M and Benetton, have signed on to a groundbreaking agreement that requires them to pay for rigorous independent inspections of their factories and for safety upgrades--including basics such as fire escapes, which many currently lack. read more
The All In with Chris Hayes team puts out a daily call to the Twitter and Facebook communities for the “awesomest things” they encountered on the Internet.
1. Listen to this country song in favor of gay marriage. There's an animated video that goes along too! Check it out (via @mercer209):
2. Warning: This one's a little Not Safe for Work. Someone just bought this nude portrait of Bea Arthur at auction for $1.9 million. (And by writing it up and posting it on social media, Daily Beast got themselves kicked off Facebook.) read more
One month after a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, killed 15 people and scarred a large swath of the surrounding area, investigators have concluded their excavation of the affected area. On Thursday, representatives from the state fire marshal's office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced that they had not yet determined the cause of the explosion, and that they had not yet ruled out sabotage. read more
The New York attorney general's office is looking into reports of wage theft violations within the state's fast food industry, department officials confirmed on Thursday. The news of their investigation broke on the same day that Fast Food Forward, a workers' group dedicated to organizing New York fast food workers, released a report alleging widespread wage theft within the industry. read more