USDA Pushes for Food Stamps

Undersecretary for Agriculture Edward Avalos recently travelled to Oklahoma and gave a statement saying that he did not think that a new, five-year farm bill could pass the House and Senate without food stamps funding and other nutritional subsidies intact.
Food stamps have been an increasingly controversial part of the farm bill for the past fifty years. They were initially conceived of as a way to not only combat poverty, but as a way to boost farm sales across the country, giving the lower class money to purchase food produced by American farmers.
For the past several years, Republicans and fiscal conservatives have been attempting to significantly reduce federal food stamp funding as part of an effort to reduce the federal deficit and decrease the role of the federal government in Americans’ lives.
The farm bill appears stalled in Congress thanks to these nutritional battles. While the most recent House vote managed to barely squeak by thanks to the separation of farm legislation from nutritional subsidies, some federal officials think that these will only doom future farm bill.
“Agriculture doesn’t have a strong voice in Congress anymore,” Avalos said during a tour of Oklahoma farms. “There has been an exodus from rural America to the city. There is a strong voice from the big population in the city. Separating nutrition from the rest of the farm bill, I don’t see how that is going to happen. I really don’t.”
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