Passed by a 216-208 vote Thursday, the Farm Bill contains many of the same farm-related programs as the previous bill that failed in June, but it omits the nutrition title. The nutrition title includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other food assistance programs.
Assistance organizations, including Feeding America and Bread for the World, oppose the bill, fearing that the Republican-controlled House will use the opportunity to make large cuts to SNAP funding in a nutrition title bill, which is said to follow.
Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, said in a news release, “Passing a Farm Bill that only contains farm programs would lead to a nutrition bill with SNAP cuts that far exceed the $20 billion proposed in an earlier House version of the Farm Bill.”
Feeding America called the bill “stripped down” in a news release.
“As the Farm Bill reauthorization moves forward, we must not lose sight of the fact that millions of struggling families rely on SNAP and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to put food on the table,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. “Cuts to these programs would result in lost meals.”
While many oppose the bill, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance (SCFBA) support the House’s move to sever food assistance from farm programs.
“Today’s passage of the Farm Bill by the House of Representatives brings us one step closer to historic dairy policy reform and proves that we can help dairy farmers without raising the prices of dairy products for consumers and for government programs,” Jerry Slominski, IDFA SVP of legislative and economic affairs. “Although today’s vote was close due to differences over the SNAP program, the Farm Bill now passed by the House includes the Goodlatte-Scott amendment.”
The Goodlatte-Scott amendment, praised by several dairy organizations, “soundly rejected a controversial policy that would have periodically imposed limited on the amount of milk that diary farmers could sell,” according to Slominski.
SCFBA said in a statement that the bill “addresses many of the critical priorities by the SCFBA and continue the support of specialty crops that was established in the 2008 Farm Bill.”
President Obama has said he will veto a Farm Bill without SNAP included.