When President Obama signs the long-overdue Agriculture Act of 2014 – the new farm bill – into law Friday, both farmers and food stamps advocates will be sighing in relief. This farm bill process was fraught with ups and downs and the loose coalition tying nutrition and farm programs seemed barely able to survive.
The Farm Bill rejected by the House would have cut $2 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps. Many Republicans were hoping for more cuts, while many Democrats thought the cuts too onerous.
The farm bill is legislation is worth more than $90 billion. It deals with everything from farm subsidies to crop insurance; but over 80% of this massive outlay goes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP,) which was once called food stamps. More than 45 million people depend on SNAP, especially since the economic downturn. However, in the current versions of the bill both Democrats and Republicans are discussing cutting funds from the program.