Should Farms Benefit at the Expense of Food Stamp Families?

Proposed bills might help farms financially, but it will harm families using food stamps

Recently, the White House considered vetoing a farm bill due to the potential of undercutting families on food stamps across America.  With a total of almost 48 million Americans receiving food stamps with an average of 132 dollars per month, eliminating the debt might be complicated, especially if the number of people participating has doubled since 2004, and government costs have nearly tripled to support them.  

The House is considering cutting food stamps by a total of 20 billion dollars in the span of 10 years, making it the biggest governmental cut during this generation. The Senate’s version of the farm bill that was passed last week proposed a cut in food stamps totaled at 4 billion dollars out of the intended 24 billion dollars in overall savings, but the House isn’t totally on board. “The bill makes unacceptable deep cuts in [food stamps], which could increase hunger among millions of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet,” said the White House.

Many people have opposing views to this topic. The Obama administration believes the bill should cut farm subsidies as opposed to public nutrition, while Congressman Doug LaMalfa made his opinion clear in favor of pushing almost 2 million in need off of food stamps.

There might be more efficient ways to reduce this deficit, with the first being a reduction of crop insurance subsidies. However, Republican critics believe the food stamp program is out of control and farm subsidies should not be affected. Other defenders say the increased enrollment is due to prolonged financial distress of 2008 as well as a high unemployment rate.

The debate on this bill could begin as soon as Wednesday, and over 200 amendments have been proposed, ranging from deeper cuts into the food stamps program to completely eliminating food stamp cuts and cut crop subsidies by 20 billion dollars. 

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