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Maura Bennett Farm Bill Update
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: September 13, 2018

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As you know the current Farm Bill expires at the end of the month and the pressure is on lawmakers who are negotiating the Senate and House versions to come up with one that they can agree on.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to told visiting Farmers Union members this week he knows it’s getting late.

“Time is running short as you know to get this done by September 30th.”

The 2 bills differ on many issues from conservation to payment limits to policies around the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or food stamps.

The House proposal, which was approved by only two votes and no Democrats, would require almost anyone in the program, including people with children above the age of 6 and all “able-bodied” adults under the age of 60, to work or complete job training for at least 20 hours a week. Failure to do the training to work just once would mean the loss of a year of benefits. Two strikes would mean a three-year loss of benefits unless the requirements are then met or an exemption is received.

In 2017, 6.5 million children lived in food-insecure households where they, along with adults, were food insecure, according to a USDA report.

House and Senate Democrats are fighting the drastic changes to SNAP proposed by the House.

There is still a lot of uncertainty about whether a new Farm Bill can be written and passed by the end of September. And there’s also some uncertainty about whether the federal government might shut down September over other funding issues.

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