The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote as soon as this week on a bill that would take away Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) benefits from about 60,000 people in 25,000 households in Washington. On balance, the bill falls short in meeting the needs of America's farmers, rural communities, natural resources, and taxpayers.
The current five-year Farm Bill is set to expire in September.
"Additionally, the administration appreciates that the bill reduces overly generous payments for participating in the Conservation Reserve Program, eliminates the Conservation Stewardship Program, and pursues management and regulatory reforms on public lands", the statement said.
The bill has some good provisions, including increased funding for conservation easements that protect wetlands and native prairie.
Every person who enrolls in SNAP is automatically reserved a spot in education and training programs. These changes would make the program much less useful in addressing our nation's water quality problems. Budgets are tight and producers are trying to maximize use of the land, but risk the loss of valuable topsoil.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, joined from left by Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., and Rep. John Faso, R-N.Y., discusses the farm bill, officially known as the 2018 Agriculture and Nutrition Act, at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 12, 2018.
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