The House of Representatives just approved a bill to cut the food stamp program by $40 billion over a period of 10 years. The bill passed with a vote of 217-200, Reuters reports.

About 47.76 million Americans, 85 percent of which are children, elderly or disabled, currently receive food stamps, Reuters noted.

Eric Cantor, the Republican House Majority Leader, said it would be “wrong for working, middle-class people to pay” for the costly program.

Democrats, on the other hand, cited estimates that say the bill would eliminate benefits to roughly 4 million people nationwide in 2014.

Republicans are facing fierce resistance to the bill. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who serves as the chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, said the House bill was "a monumental waste of time," and the White House has already vowed to veto it.

"We have never before seen this kind of partisanship injected into a farm bill," Stabenow added.

The bill, known as the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act, eliminates eligibility loopholes and creates work requirements for food stamp recipients, according to