Home > Advocates For The Poor Want Farm Bill Back On The Table
Republicans in the House say they have targeted programs like SNAP because they aren't effective in lifting people out of poverty.
Advocates For The Poor Want Farm Bill Back On The Table
By Chuck Quirmbach
Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 12:07pm
With the federal government shutdown possibly ending soon, urban and rural advocates say an early get-back-to-work mission for Congress should be to reauthorize the Farm Bill.
The Farm Bill covers many agriculture programs, but it’s also connected to food assistance for the urban and rural poor. Gayle Conner of Milwaukee says she counts on one of the food programs for low-income seniors called Stockbox. Connor says she's worried that if Congress doesn't end a stalemate over the Farm Bill, Stockbox will go away.
“I know it's not good,” says Connor. “What the Congress is doing right now is totally asinine. It’s supposed to be for the people; they’re supposed to be representing the people.”
Darin Von Ruden, an organic farmer in Westby and head of the Wisconsin Farmers Union, says if and when Congressional negotiators get together, they need to restore the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for the full five years of the typical Farm Bill, instead of just three years as some have discussed.
“It’s all part of the process of divide and conquer and trying to make is so that the SNAP program dissolves,” says Von Ruden. “Ultimately farm programs would dissolve too, which would be a horrendous thing for this country.”
House Republicans, who have targeted some of the food and nutrition programs in the Farm Bill, say they have done so because the programs have grown out of control. The GOP says the aim should be to lift people out of poverty, not measure how much money is spent.