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House passes bill to keep welfare program going
House votes to keep welfare program going, bans access to benefits in strip clubs, casinos
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' The House has passed a bill that would fund the nation's main welfare program for the next nine months, and ban recipients from accessing their benefits in strip clubs, liquor stores and casinos.

The bill was approved Thursday by a voice vote. The welfare provision also is included in legislation to extend a payroll tax cut, but the separate bill was passed in case it's eliminated from the tax bill.

Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate. Without passage and the president's signature, the welfare program would stop at year's end.

The chief sponsor, Republican Erik Paulsen of Minnesota, said that welfare caseloads have fallen by 56 percent since welfare reform was enacted in 1996.

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