House Republicans Drop Food Stamps From New Farm Bill

Source: Ed O’Keefe / The Washington Post

House Republicans have dropped funding for food stamps from a new version of the Farm Bill expected to be voted on Thursday, earning a strong rebuke from the White House and congressional Democrats who plan to oppose the measure.

It is unclear whether sufficient Republican support exists for the new bill that is scheduled for a vote by early afternoon Thursday. Two key conservative groups that hold sway over dozens of House Republicans said they were opposed to the bill, because it fails to slash the federal deficit.

The legislation would make changes to federal agricultural policy and conservation programs and includes language ending direct subsidy payments to farmers, but says nothing about funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, which historically constitutes about 80 percent of the funding in a Farm Bill.

Several Democratic lawmakers rose in opposition to the plan early Thursday as debate began, with several of them repeatedly saying that the new bill “hurts the children of America” or “increases hunger in America.”

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