The Central Virginian

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Farm bill defeated. Now what?

Posted on Friday, July 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm

“The price of a farm bill should not be making more people hungry in America,” Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) said.

On Thursday, June 20, the 2013 House Farm Bill, HR 1947, was defeated by a vote of 195 to 234, with Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA) voting for the farm bill.

The Senate version of the farm bill, the only version to pass, would cut benefits to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by $3.9 billion over the 10-year life of the bill. The House’s version contained cuts of $20.5 billion over the same 10-year period, which would have eliminated two million low-income families from receiving assistance.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the number of people on food stamps has increased 70 percent since 2008.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports the reason the number of food stamp recipients has increased is due to the rising poverty level and long-term unemployment.

Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) opposed passage of the bill, not only for the more than $20 billion in cuts to SNAP, but also due to amendments adopted on the floor that would have allowed states to conduct random drug testing on food stamp applicants.

To read the entire story, see the June 27 edition of The Central Virginian.