House Republicans unveiled a farm bill last week that would impose stricter work requirements on millions of low-income Americans receiving food stamps.
Minnesota Senator Tina Smith is a member of the agriculture committee and said it faces stiff opposition in her chamber. “Well, you know, we’ve gotten all tied up in this debate over the nutrition program, which is a big problem because the nutrition program and food support has traditionally been a crucial part of a farm bill that has good, strong farm programs.”
The House Agriculture Committee’s bill would make between 5 million and 7 million recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, subject to stricter work requirements.
The farm bill, which is estimated to spend about $860 billion over 10 years, would slightly boost safety net programs for farmers and Smith added that it’s important that the legislature not drag its feet on getting it passed. “Minnesota’s farm families are experiencing so much uncertainty, so many challenges with prices looking like they are going to be low again this year, and they really need the certainty of getting this bill passed so they know how to plan.”
Many producers have been struggling with as much as a 50 percent drop in net farm income over the last few years, and anxiety is even higher amid the tariff dispute with China.