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Rick Worthington SNAP and Farm Bill Issues
by Rick Worthington, click here for bio

Program: Farm and Ranch Report
Date: September 25, 2018

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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 works for a hunger-relief group and says conservative House Republicans are insisting on adding work requirements to eligibility for SNAP - formerly known as food stamps.

"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."

Food banks say the work rules don't increase employment, just demand at pantries.

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 would be created is something that we just simply can't make up."

The House farm bill barely passed on a near party-line vote. A Senate version of the bill - without the SNAP work rules - passed 86-11. A conference committee is trying to hash out the differences in time...But time is quickly running out

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