FarmPolicy

October 20, 2018

Video: Chairwoman Stabenow Addresses Budget, Nutrition, and Crop Insurance on Senate Floor Today

Categories: Budget /Farm Bill

Today, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) discussed the House GOP budget proposal that was released this morning.

Specifically, Chairwoman Stabenow highlighted issues associated with the SNAP program (food stamps) and crop insurance.

In part, Chairwoman Stabenow noted that, “And I can assure you that in the Farm Bill we will present again to colleagues as we did last year– and we’re so grateful for the bipartisan support we had– we will strongly support efforts around the crop insurance [program] as well as nutrition.”

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Farm Bill- Budget Issues; and, the Ag Economy

Farm Bill- Budget- Policy Issues

Sen. Pat Roberts was a guest on yesterday’s AgriTalk radio program with Mike Adams where the conversation focused on recent legislation introduced by the Kansas Republican regarding the SNAP program (food stamps).

An audio replay of yesterday’s conversation can be heard here (MP3- 10:26); while a FarmPolicy.com transcript is available here.

Sen. Roberts explained that, “Well, the title of the bill is To Improve Nutrition Program Integrity and Deficit Reduction, and we do it by taking a look at the eligibility for food stamps. There’s $11.5 billion in savings there. We also take a look at the fact that 17 states are really gaming the food stamp program with the Low Income Energy Assistance Program. The acronym for that back here in Washington is LIHEAP. What happens is that a state will accept one dollar of the LIHEAP program, and then that really makes somebody eligible for food stamps that otherwise wouldn’t be eligible. That saves $12 billion.

“We take a look at a lot of the things, Michael, that we had considered in the last farm bill. But in the last farm bill, the bright line for Democrats was to not touch food stamps other than four billion, and my bright line was to strengthen and improve crop insurance, so that was the deal that was made. But now the Congressional Budget Office says that that bill does not save 23 billion, it saves only 13 billion, because our baseline went down—I know this gets a little complicated—and there’s no savings to the nutrition program.

What we’re trying to do is make sure that nobody who receives benefits that truly need them, there are absolutely no cuts to those folks.”

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