Food Stamps Reappear in Farm Debate

Food stamp funding is making a reappearance in Washington political discourse as senators and representatives begin new debates on the future of the farm bill and nutritional funding.
Over the course of 2012, the House and Senate clashed over the farm bill. While both houses claimed to be committed to passing a new five-year bill, both the Republicans and Democrats in both houses appeared more committed to pushing their respective political goals than passing vital farm legislation.
At the center of the fight was food stamp funding, with Senate Democrats committed to protecting nutritional funding while House Republicans appeared committed to reducing it.
Despite the collapse of the farm bill in the House, food stamp funding has reemerged as a major issue in Washington. House Republicans are pushing a new bill that would kick the unemployed off of food stamps by imposing work requirements for individuals receiving nutritional support.
In the House, Representative Frank Lucas, chair of the Agriculture Committee, is finding himself in a tough position. While his constituents support reductions in food stamp funding, farmers generally benefit from strong nutritional supports, which not only give them additional customers, but give them increased political support from urban politicians.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer