The House Agriculture Committee has approved an unconscionable farm bill that protects grossly generous subsidies for the agriculture industry by cutting food stamps by a staggering $16.5 billion over the next decade.
The cuts — more than triple the $4.5 billion approved in the Senate — would deny two million to three million people food assistance of $90 a month per family, end free school meals for 280,000 children and compound recession hardships for the working poor.
House Republicans drove the cuts with complaints that the food stamp program is swollen with people taking advantage of overly generous standards. This is a canard — the Congressional Budget Office has found that nearly 99 percent of food stamp participants live in poverty.
The committee’s Republican majority attracted some farm-state Democrats in approving a $969 billion farm bill over 10 years. They bragged of reining in farm expenditures by $35 billion, but about 45 percent of this savings was taken out of food stamps; indefensible subsidies bolstering corn, wheat, soybeans and other powerful industry lobbies were largely spared…
BTW – Don’t expect too much heroism from Congressional Democrats rallying back on behalf of America’s working poor. Given their allegiance to the same lobbyists, what they will negotiate with Republicans is how much to cut food stamps. Agribusiness is safe and secure from genuine oversight.