• June 24th, 2024
  • Monday, 05:59:27 AM

Farm Bill Faces Gridlock Over SNAP Work Rules


Photo: CIP Americas September 26th marked three years since the search began for the 43 students disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero.

by Trimmel Gomes

 

Congress may not be able to finish the farm bill by the end of the month, when the old one expires. One deadlock is a controversial plan to cut access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Josh Protas, vice president for public policy with Jewish hunger-relief group MAZON, said conservative House Republicans are insisting on adding work requirements to eligibility for SNAP – formerly known as food stamps. He said that’s not popular even with some Senate Republicans, but House Agriculture Committee Chair Mike Conaway of Texas is holding out.
“Farm income is down right now. Agricultural producers are being impacted by the trade wars and tariffs,” Protas said. “So their interests are really being put at risk by those who are trying to make harmful cuts to SNAP.”

“For every one meal that our network of food banks provides, SNAP provides 12. That gap that will be created is something that we just simply can’t make up.”
Kate Leone, Feeding América
“For every one meal that our network of food banks provides, SNAP provides 12. That gap that will be created is something that we just simply can’t make up.”
Kate Leone, Feeding América
Conaway and others argue that the tough work rules are necessary to push people into employment. Food banks say state experiments have shown almost everyone on SNAP that can work has a job or is looking. They say the work rules don’t increase employment, just demand at pantries.
Food banks estimate the House proposal would mean SNAP would provide 9 billion fewer meals over 10 years. Kate Leone, senior vice president for government relations with Feeding America, said the House proposal includes more job training and government commodities for pantries. But, she said, it’s not enough.
“For every one meal that our network of food banks provides, SNAP provides 12,” Leone said. “That gap that will be created is something that we just simply can’t make up.”
The House farm bill barely passed on a near party-line vote. The Senate version – without the SNAP work rules – passed 86-11. A conference committee is meeting now, and Protas said it may be able to hash out the differences in time.
“But time is quickly running out,” he said. “Whatever farm bill comes out of the conference committee will need to go to the Congressional Budget Office to be analyzed in terms of its budget impacts. So they’re quickly running out of time.”

Public News Service – FL

 

For More Florida News: WWW.ELSEMANARIOFLORIDA.COM