Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

GOP counts votes as Farm Bill awaits

GOP counts votes as Farm Bill awaits

Republican members of Congress scramble for votes in favor of a controversial farm bill, otherwise known as the 2018 Agriculture and Nutrition Act.

At least 1.6 million Americans will get off SNAP if the provisions in the bill pass, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The work requirement would grow to 25 hours by 2026.

More than 90,000 Alabamians would fall short of food stamp work requirements proposed under the Farm Bill reauthorization now before Congress, according to an analysis released Wednesday.

Those who oppose the bill say it cuts too much money in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to people that need it.

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But the number of people getting off food stamps could be more than what the CBO or the House bill is projecting, according to House Agriculture Committee spokeswoman Rachel Millard. However, the farm bill would still allow those who meet the "asset test" to receive benefits.

"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. "It would make it harder for thousands of low-income working families to put food the table for their kids, even as they struggle to afford expenses like child care and rent".

The bill is a top priority for retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan, and is scheduled to hit the floor for debate and a possible vote this week.

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