Pelosi blasts food stamp cuts in farm bill

Pelosi blasts food stamp cuts in farm bill

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at her weekly press conference explaining why Conor Lamb's victory is not a threat to her leadership of the Democratic House even as Lamb pledged not to support Pelosi. (©2018 Douglas Christian)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) (©2018 Douglas Christian)

WASHINGTON – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) blasted the food stamp cuts in the Republican-backed farm bill Congress is considering.

“The GOP wants to cut $23 billion from child nutrition, veteran nutrition, the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) endangering a life-line for hungry children, seniors [and] students,” Pelosi said at a news conference on Thursday.

The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 increases work requirements for food stamp recipients. The legislation requires able-bodied-adults aged 18-59 to either be employed or receive employment training for at least 20 hours per week to receive food stamps. Cuts to the food stamp program would begin in FY 2018.

However, passage of the 700-page omnibus bill is in doubt even though Congress has reauthorized farm legislation about every five years since 1933.

Several moderate Republicans have joined Democrats in expressing concern over the food stamp cuts. Some Republicans and Democrats who represent rural states have expressed concern that the $26 billion cut to commodity crops and more expansive changes to the U.S. Sugar Program could hurt farmers.

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus have said the food stamp and commodity crop cuts do not go far enough. The group reportedly is considering tying passage of the legislation to a bipartisan proposal to begin debate on immigration legislation.

Debate on the farm bill began Thursday afternoon. A final vote is expected sometime on Friday.

The Senate is considering a farm bill that appears to have bipartisan support.

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