A new five-year farm bill unveiled Monday night is estimated to cut roughly $8 billion from food stamp funding over the next 10 years. As a result, impoverished families would receive less assistance than they currently do under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), reported the The Wall Street Journal.
The bill cuts about twice as much from the food stamps program as senators approved in May, but just one-fifth of the $40 billion sought by House Republicans.
“Instead of going after crop insurance or some of the excessive payments going to various interests that don’t need them, they’re using SNAP as an ATM machine,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts), a member of the House Agriculture Committee who plans to vote against the bill, told the WSJ.
It took lawmakers nearly two years to reach the bipartisan agreement on the nearly $1 trillion, 949-page bill, reported The New York Times. The bill reauthorizes hundreds of farm and nutrition programs that must be renewed every five years. Overall, it would slash about $23 billion from the federal budgel deficit over the next decade. The reduced spending consists of about "$19 billion in farm programs, including $5 billion-a-year subsidies to wealthy farmers, some of whom are non-farming absentee landowners, and about $6 billion from conservation programs run by the Department of Agriculture," reported allvoices.com.
The House voted 251-166 to approve the legislation Wednesday. The Senate is expected to pass the bill to President Obama no later than next week, Politico.com reported.