Sunday, July 14, 2013

‘Food stamps’ stripped from House’s Farm Bill

Logo: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (a grocery bag containing a carton of eggs, produce, a piece of fruit, bread and milk)
A bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday strips the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (in Oregon, “Oregon Trail”) from the Farm Bill.

Representing Oregon’s Dist. 2, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, a Republican, voted in support of the bill according to a geography of votes created by New York Times: Politics.

As reported by Jonathan Weisman and Ron Nixon for the New York Times:
“The 216-to-208 vote saved House Republican leaders from an embarrassing reprisal of the unexpected defeat of a broader version of the bill in June, but the future of agriculture policy remains uncertain. The food stamp program, formally called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, was 80 percent of the original bill’s cost, and it remains the centerpiece of the Senate’s bipartisan farm bill.”
In an editorial, the New York Times uses the term “dismissive” to characterizes an answer by Speaker John Boehner, “We’ll get to that later,” when asked if the House would restore SNAP.

The editorial cites findings by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, that SNAP has long been one of the most effective and efficient anti-poverty programs ever devised. It adds that when counted as income, SNAP benefits cut extreme poverty nearly in half and that most families who get the aid have an adult who is working.

The one spark of optimism is the editorial’s prediction that any bill making “savage cuts” to SNAP -- whether part of the farm bill or separately -- will not get past the U.S. Senate and White House.

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