Food Stamps

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As the presidential race wages on, so do other congressional races, particularly in the senate, where debate over the farm bill intensified, causing its passing to be delayed. This is mostly because of changes being made over food stamps. The Republican candidate for Missouri Senate Todd Akin recently came out in opposition of the changes being made for the 2012 Farm bill in the senate to allow for the National School Lunch Program. Akin is challenging Democrat Claire McCaskill, who voted for the legislation this past month. The two had it out earlier this week with Todd Akin making a statement an McCaskill refuting in a rebuttal.

“I’ve never been a big fan of the government, and particularly more and more and more growing those programs,” said Todd Akin.

“The notion that the federal government should stop giving support to help feed children is a nonstarter for me,” said McCaskill.

The Farm Bill is an essential legislation that dates back the Great Depression, another time when the country greatly needed help. Farm Bill debates this year have looked at regional differences with lawmakers noting the prices for different food subsidies as well as how much was being spent on food assistance programs, such as the National School Lunch Program and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or food stamps.

Akin has opposed the Senate’s version of bill, Akin is alike with other conservations on this issue within the House of Representatives that have argued that the debt reduction is the only way to create more jobs. Akin has voted in favor of Paul Ryan’s budget plan twice according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which would substantially decrease SNAP by $33.5 billion over 10 years.

President Obama has called for a quick passage of the legislation in the House. He has also used the farm bill and SNAP as a way to criticize Mitt Romney’s choice for Paul Ryan, accusing the vice presidential candidate of blocking aid to farmers who are suffering drought seasons. This was a key point to Iowa voters.

Right now, the House is on break but will resume debating the 2012 Farm Bill once back from August recess. Compromises will have to be made on both sides in order for the legislation to pass, but there is hope that major cuts to essential programs like SNAP and National School Lunch Program will not be too severe. The final bill must pass both houses in Congress before the president can accept or reject the legislation.

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