House Agriculture Committee Approves 2018 Farm Bill

Why food stamp recipients can’t just SNAP out of poverty

Republican committee members voiced concern that without more stringent work requirements, SNAP may encourage individuals who should be working or seeking training to prepare them for work to instead become dependent on the government benefits.

The reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, are included in the farm bill - a sweeping piece of legislation that reauthorizes programs in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

House Democrats, faith groups and advocacy organizations like the AARP have all blasted the work requirements as overly burdensome and unworkable.

Duane Martin, president of the Delaware County Farm Bureau, said that in the 25 years he's been involved and the five Farm Bills he has seen, the bill typically does not resemble the original draft by the time it reaches the president's desk.

"This farm bill also makes a major new investment in animal disease preparedness and response, including a vaccine bank, a high priority for livestock producers", Conaway said.

I've always been optimistic about the farm bill. The House Republican Farm Bill, introduced last week, undermines this vision.

Rep. Kind Asking Lawmakers to Save CSP Program in Farm BillWisconsin Ag Connection - 04/18/2018Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind is urging fellow legislators to reinstate the Conservation Stewardship Program when drafting the 2018 Farm Bill. The Organic Certification Cost Share Program, which helps farmers afford organic certification expenses, would not be reauthorized at all. At a time when farmers are dealing with unpredictable weather patterns that exacerbate the inherent risk of farming, this is foolish and short-sighted. We should be moving programs that support sustainable agriculture forward, not backward, especially as farmers grapple with this struggling farm economy. American farmers are suffering from the largest drop in farm income since the Great Depression but the farm safety net in this bill is inadequate and won't help farmers.

During the daylong hearing on the legislation, Democrats repeatedly attacked the proposed changes to SNAP, charging that the changes would result in more than a million Americans losing access to a benefit they rely on, and questioning the efficacy of work requirements. Changes were few and mostly noncontroversial. A new Food Waste and Recovery Liaison position would be established at the USDA.

Rural infrastructure and economic development: The bill would maintain programs that address rural broadband, a value-added program and rural water programs. "Folks were looking for funding for citrus greening research and doubling our market access dollars". These are all provisions I've worked hard to drum up support for over the previous year.

Agriculture chairman Michael Conaway said the bill would be called for a House vote "as early in May as we can get".

"This bill attempts to change SNAP from a feeding program to a work program".

This farm bill has a long road ahead.

The Farm Bill traditionally comes up for renewal every five years.

Peterson was referring to the $1 billion the bill would earmark for expanding state job-training programs.

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