Food Stamp Bill is Source of Contention

    October 12, 2013
    Shana Norris
    Comments are off for this post.

Democrats faced a loss in the House on Saturday when their motion to further re-link farm aid and food stamps failed to pass in a 204-195 vote.

The issue at stake in Saturday’s vote was whether or not to synchronize the timelines of both parts of the long-delayed and hotly debated US farm bill. The Republican-controlled House’s version has the food stamp portion due for reauthorization in three years, while the farm aid portion would be due in five.

Democrats want the same timeline for both:

“The farm bill’s nutrition program needs to be on the same time line as the bill’s other provisions,” said Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson. “It makes no sense to decouple farm and food programs; they go hand in hand.” Peterson is the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee.

Saturday’s vote followed a vote on Friday that essentially reopened negotiations on the farm bill between the House and the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The 2008 farm bill expired a year ago, meaning that Congress is a year behind schedule in writing the bill’s successor. Food aid and farm subsidy programs have been tied together since the 1970s, but earlier this year they had to be split in order to pass the House. It passed the farm commodity bill in July and a bill containing deep cuts to the food stamp system in September.

Keeping the nutrition program in the farm bill – even if it’s on a separate timeline for reauthorization – means that arriving at consensus will be more difficult since food stamps are the main point of contention in the bill.

The House-passed bill would cut the federal food stamp program by $39 billion over 10 years, while the Senate’s version would only cut $4 billion in the same time frame.

Following Saturday’s vote, Speaker Joe Boehner released the names of the House conferees. Democrats are concerned about Republican interference with negotiations. The rule passed on Friday contained two Republican motions to instruct conferees. Peterson called this type of provision “unprecedented.”

“I am hopeful that if Republican Leadership can be reasonable and leave the conference committee alone to do its work that we will be able to finish a five-year, comprehensive farm bill this year,” Peterson said.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

  • Beatrice.Hopper

    You people in Washington should be ashamed of yourselves. You are playing with people’s lives. Denying them food stamps is like telling them to starve their children like in Africa. If you want to stay in Washington and enjoy the life you have, it is advised that you change your lifestyle also. It could be you the next year, when you are at home after you are fired by our votes.

    • Jean

      Beatrice, it is True they should be ashamed of themselves. they are home for the weekend eating well. Back in DC on Tuesday afternoon to do nothing for pay. Enjoying their lives while people who need food are leaving the stores without it. there is no money in their accounts.

      There are hungry kids everywhere, not just Africa. They are hunger right here in America, and with these idiots in charge, there will be a lot more hungry babes in the future.

      • http://yahoo gracie

        I totally agree with you! What is wrong with this world ! This is America I am totally in agreement people donate all the time to foreig countrys FEED THE CHILDREN! I say FEED THE AMERICAN CHILDREN WHO ARE HUNGRY! The young people
        today even if they have college degrees can not find jobs!If
        they take a waging hour job they can not pay a baby sitter. If they have young children.Even with Food Stamps a family of 5 would only get $600.00 a month.And if they Mother and the father works at a waging hour job you do not qualify for any help! I say look at the waging hour law. As for the ilegals i see them in city jobs -State jobs – people who are on a work visa can get a State jobs quicker than a American !

    • Jan

      They are going to push people to the point that they snap and start shooting members of Washington. Maybe then they will be in favor of gun control. It is really a shame it has to come to this but I can see it coming.

  • http://none Judith Fullbrght

    They take from those who lost their jobs, many to illegals, yet I don’t they will have less food stamps. Our tax dollars are used for the illegals not for those who paid into the tax stricter, they have no right being here, they are illegal yet Obama and this administration house and senate(they are supposed to represent us legal citizens, legal immigrants)most of them don’t care about us only the illegals. Don’t see a cut in their salaries.. WHY!!!!!!

    • http://none Judith Fullbrght

      oops please excuse typos

    • Jean

      Judith, The millionaires get more for farm subsidies than poor people get for food stamps. Keep fooling yourself and ranting about illegals. Your enemies are legal and working in Washington.

      • Janet Lurker

        You got that correct Judith, I still am scratching my head when the government pays a farmer not to plant crop at all, and let the fields stay empty. If they want to spend money send it to the farmer it so the farmer will have funds to plant the empty field and not with some of these poison GMO products.

    • Carl

      Dear Ms. Fullbright,
      At one time your ancestors were immigrants. I suggest you read and educate yourself as you sound a bit uneducated.

      • Concerned

        There is a big difference between an immigrant that arrived in the USA legally through the quota system and those that snuck into the Country across a border or stowaways on boats. There is a big difference there. I have no qualms about a person that immigrates through legal channels at all…

    • Bella italiana

      Illegals are crooks and messing up the country just like they are. They go hand in hand, no matter if you’re dem or republican. IMO, I could care less what party you affiliate with.

  • Deborah

    I read that they are going to cut the food stamp budget, and will determine who will truly need it. How will they know who truly needs to be on food stamps. Are they going to come in our home to see how and what we live on. My husband is disabled and the state pays me $120 a month to stay home with him, and I appreciate that, he gets a small SSI ck each month. We are barely making it for 2wks of the month, the last 2wks of the month we have to ask for hand outs from church’s and family who are also barely making ends meet. Tax these billion dollar companies that are making millions in profit and cut the salaries of the officials in the white house and do not cut what little the poor already get. Stop giving government assistance to the illegals that haven’t paid their dues for being here in our country. I have worked 35 years and now have to beg for what I get to support a family of 3. It’s sad to know we will be standing in food lines soon. I am scared for my family and my country for what is to come.
    May God have mercy on our country!!

  • Brenda

    You want to cut something why not cut some of your salaries……

  • http://www.socialistalternative.org molly

    I think I see too many 1%ers typing all kinds of right wing crap all over the internet. Gee it’s nice to know that they have the time to do this. I stumbled upon this nonsense because I was trying to find out why my friend with stage 4 cancer could not get his groceries today. He had to take the time to get someone to take him to the supermarket because he cannot afford a car, and when he was finished shopping he went to the checkout only to find that he could not get his groceries. I was able to loan him some money so at least he could eat for a few days, but hopefully this mess will all be cleared up. I do not know anyone who gets food stamps and does not really need them. The right wingers like spreading the Reagan era mythology about welfare queens in cadillacs, or lexus but this is utter crap coming from some very horrible self centered people who have the time to post crap like this all over the internet. I just love the right wing logic. All though there aren’t enough jobs for all the people who can and want to work, they want to starve people who are using food stamps as a last resort. We in the working class need to organize to push back this right wing agenda, and organize for a different system that we really control through real democracy and works for us and not the few at the top…our day will come…

    • YS

      You must live in the middle of the woods or in a state where very few are in “need” (true or untrue need). the so-called “reagan” era is the same era we are living on today. You need to wake up! Yes, unfortunately there are so many people that ARE truly in need, but because of people that are taking advantage of the system, your buddy has to suffer. Just the other day my coworker was in line at grocery and the gentleman in front offered to sell his food stamps to the person in front of her so he can take her cash and buy his beer and cigarettes. PS – she saw him packing his groceries in a brand new car. And just a side note, I’m no 1%er (which means making more than about $400k) .

  • Susan

    The Republican’s want to starve the poor, elderly and disabled.

    • abcd

      and the children…. :(

    • Concerned

      If you mean poor as in those who truly are unable to work because of true disabilities then I agree with you. Yes, I think the retirees will suffer because of the abusers to the systems, the lifelong welfare recipients, those not truly disabled but got a hungry attorney to get them through the disability process. There are so many ways to cheat the Government that it has put us trillions in debt…

    • Bella italiana

      I am disabled, struggling on a fixed income, and can’t even afford to find an apt. But the illegals, IMO, are the reason for this. They are crooks like the gov’t, and that is why this country is going down the drain.

      • YS

        I know many “LEGALS” living all around this town that are living off and taking advantage of the system too. I doubt it’s just the “illegals”. In fact, there are definitely more legals than illegals living off the current system making me pay higher taxes and probably won’t get hardly any social security in 30 years when i’m due.

  • Joyce

    OB mite have to take it upon his self & push buttons.Get Ben/out speaker,no good.Hes doing away with food stamps,many need them .Stupid..We all came from different place ,in beginning..We are all immigrants. Many things Washington should do.Most think of keeping their power/$$$$…That’s the top thing..

  • Joyce

    We have “a lot of crap” coming.Mite get real messy.This yr can be soo diferent for USA people. Take care people..Pray real hard..

  • Concerned

    I wish that Washington would get it together and straighten out the Welfare/Medicaid situation. Working in the medical field. Patients walk into the doctor’s office with canes, bad backs, then we see them in the mirrors walk back to their cars like big macho men, also you see them running through the local supermarket and jumping on the carts and using them as a skate board or catch them underneath their vehicles, on their backs, doing repairs. If they can hop, skip and jump I would think they can work to support themselves. Also the Welfare food cards, someone in my family was approached by a lady, one of his acquaintances, and she told him he could have $100 worth of food on her card if he fronted her $50 in cash, what??? An 18 year old kid that has diabetes, non-insulin dependent, and she just now qualified for Medicaid. She got 18K in back monies and she bought a car, a bike, and who knows what else. There is a lady where I work that lost both of her legs to diabetes yet she works every day in her wheelchair at a local call center. There is a man with a disease where he has to wear a helmet and sits in a wheel chair yet he works every day at a local pizzeria folding the boxes for delivery. Why is it the government turning a blind eye on the millions abusers of the system?

  • abcd

    Sometimes horrible stuff happens for the good…Keep HOPE my fellow Americans…and keep praying for those who do not understand. Don’t let your hearts be hardened just do what you can for the good of the people! Pay it forward with positiveness! <3

  • Dolores Lara

    Give help to those who are truly goin thru a rough patch. I wouldnt continue to support those that sell or exchange their stamps. The recipients who are still sitting at home not showing their children an example to work or get an education should not have the right to recieve help for years and years. Yes there are people like this. The welfare workers should actually step in to monitor better. Laws need to change too. Being a recently hired state employee with a full time job I can say Im truly blessed to work. I do believe if California required drug testing for stamps and cash assistance alot of parents would not pass. We need to do be more alert to this problem and correct this for the whole US.

    • http://yahoo Sababu

      Yes. Do test for drug use. Test students receiving aid, test bankers who receive bail outs, test all government employees who receive the bulk of taxes in salaries, test all medical personnel, test the armed forces, test all elected and appointed government officials starting with Obama,test court judges,test the teachers. YES, YES, YES, WE MUST TEST. TEST OURSELVES INTO COMPLIANCE AS A DRUG FREE SOCIETY. KEEP ON TESING UNTIL WE GET IT RIGHT.

      • YS

        I think you’re reading too far into this “testing for food stamps/aid”. The point of this is that this particular group of people can obviously afford drugs. instead of spending the money on food, they choose to spend on drugs, which enables them to continue being unemployed or employed at a miminal job and continue to pop out kids. #1: Many “better” paying jobs now require drug testing, #2: they can feed their kids for free with food stamps so keep popping them out while they continue to be dead-beat methheads, etc, #3 They sell their food stamps that I, and maybe you, pay higher taxes for, in order for them to have cash to buy their drugs…. which in turn means our taxes are paying for their drug use. I can care less if anyone else tests positive for drugs if they are working to put their own food on the table, working to feed their own children with their own money, and working to buy their own drugs with their hard-earned cash. Of course not every person on food-stamps takes advantage of the system, but most do…too many do, which why they should be tested.

      • STEVE



  • Donna Hay

    As a person who has stood behind the recipients many times while I was working and in line at the grocery store. I have to say the cheating and excess is beyond belief. I have used coupons and counted my pennies while they have gotten all the premium items, beer, ice cream, steak, cigarettes and I know those things are not allowed! I have watched store clerks look the other way and I have seen them buy beer and cigarettes so many times I have wanted to scream. I have even called local government and cited the store doing it. I was professional and said, I have been there and seen them using Lone Star cards for these things-I was treated like a kook. Really-hello our tax dollars are paying for beer and smokes? When they are sick or in a fight? We have to pay the ER bill too?

    I believe the system has been broke for a long time. It was meant for a hand up. Not a lifestyle as it has become. I also agree it should not be given to people coming into our country illegally. It is sucking the lifeblood out. People not paying into the system and taking millions out-of course it is going to run dry-simple math people. I was never good at the algebra-higher level math, but I can do the simple problems and I know at the rate congress is spending, our country just cannot keep functioning.

    • Margaret Morris

      Cigarettes and Beer are NOT allowed on food stamps….you are incorrect…..they can e rung up together by in the end the customer will owe CASH for non-eligible items!

      • corinne

        They ring them up as something else in that price range.
        And if what you say it rings separate and they owe….hello if there is money for cigs and beer….then there’s money for food.

        • MWP

          You are just mkaing stuff up to justify being cheap. You act like the gov’t is going to give you more of your “tax dollars” back just because food stamps are cut. The repubs will just either use it to start another war or give it to their rich friends. Grow up.

  • Nativeman

    Our government should stop giving Billions of dollars a year of our tax $ to Israel and put the $ towards our own people within the USA. I’m certain that would make a positive difference.

    • Janet Lurker

      Amen to that!! If they want to kill one another let them. We probably loose more people in the US every year than Israel does. And we send them money? DUH!

  • http://webpro Irate in Ma

    I personally know a person who has been receiving food stamps and cash along with free rent from the government for about 20 years. The trick is that you keep on popping out kids. She has 5 and can milk this until each kids turns 18. It’s pathetic. Also in Ma the ebt cards go for 50 cents on the dollar or enough cash to buy their drug of choice.

    • jc

      really? please tell me where to find that life because i as well am a single mom of 5. i do not get free rent. mine is $600 per month. i also do not get a lot of food money i get $600 per month. i have never received one red cent from the government. all i get is my food money and that is barely half of what our grocery bill is. we have a very healthy lifestyle consisting of a lot of fruits and veggies. i am a full time college student and i work part time. i am truly a person who is doing something with my life and the extra money to feed my kids the healthy things they should be eating would be nice. my kids are all from one dad and we didn’t have to go on maury to figure that out. my ex was abusive and i chose to leave him for a better life. i do not think people should be allowed to sit on their rump collecting benefits if they are able to do something. but for someone like me who is making a life for themselves the assistance is invaluable and should not be cut.

  • John

    Over twenty years ago 60 Minutes did a segment on government welfare. It dealt with the Marshall Islands that became an American Protectorate after WWII. Prior to the US it was a Japanese Protectorate. The Islanders were fisherman; used to building, working with and maintaining fishing boats, nets baskets and anything needed to support their lives. The US came in and wanted to INSTILL an American way of life. Formerly they lived in bamboo and grass covered huts for thousands of year. A life that they were well adapted too and happy. We told them HOW they should live now. We tore down the huts, poured cement floors and built Quonset houses, provided beds and western furniture. The islanders used the furniture for firewood and returned to living on the ground with their reed mats. Now they have problems with arthritis that didn’t exist prior to living on cement floors. They fisherman were replaced with free USA Department of Agriculture dried and canned surplus food. Those who fished no longer fished. The future generations had no skills other than showing up for the free food. The boats, nets and fishing equipment has all rotted, with no one left who has the skills to repair them. If today welfare imposed by the US government was to stop all the Islanders would die of starvation. You can transpose this to what we have done in the US. Generations of Americans and illegals who have no skills that would equate to a productive livelihood. Let’s wean the leaches off welfare and provide it to those who truly need the hand UP and end the hand out.

  • http://yahoo little rr

    I am disabled and a single mom of a child with special needs who has had his benifits stopped, and unable to get them back….punished without meds. or counseling due to a share payment tnat was late,from his dad and now waiting a penalty of 4 mnths. to get back state benifits that were being paid for through share care!!! I can’t get food stamps because they failed to keep an appointment that I was available for and we are still waiting for another!!! No Hablo espanol si what I MEAN!!!! Big concern!!!!

  • John

    Over twenty years ago another 60 Minutes segment dealt with a medium size town in New Jersey that decided to put an end to Welfare. The town established WORKFARE. Those who truly needed assistance was required to provide time making repairs, cleaning parks, painting bus and park benches and what ever would benefit the town as a whole. When this program was established over 1/3 of those on Welfare got off as a way of life and GOT A JOB. The rest were truly in need of the assistance. Now the $X budget was revamped to help Y – 1/3rd making the budget go further. Some family whose house burned down was aided in support for a limited time. This allowed them to get back on their feet. Someone who lost a job was aided over a limited time to find a new job. Then the ACLU lawyers stepped in. The town was sued because they considered Workfare demeaning to the funding recipients.
    Today we are a society of victims. I’m overweight and can’t work because I’m a victim; I’m sitting at home in front of my color TV instead of working because I am a victim; I can’t form a complete sentence without a four letter word because I’m a victim; I have low self esteem because when I was in school someone hit me in a dodge ball game with a volley ball instead of a nerf ball.
    America may have another hundred years before it goes by the way of Rome. But I doubt it has that long. Back then politicians bought votes and contentment with free bread and free gladiator and chariot race games. Today it is bought with ‘free’ welfare, food stamps, prenatal birth and post natal care and WIC for undocumented recipients and anything that the treasury has to pay for with borrowed money.




  • SandyM

    Unfortunately some individuals truly need help. Poor seniors, etc. But when you hear stories such as a neighbors child moved in with her boyfriend and had two children. They were both full time students and their income qualified each of them for government assistance for all their tuition needs, as well as ADC etc. Their dad was pissed and blamed the government for not allowing them to get married AND keep their benefits. As soon as they graduated, they got married and off the rolls, but all they received during their school years was a taxpayer gift! As a Christian I don’t feel anyone in our country should go hungry, but the abusers make it difficult for those who truly require help.

    • MWP

      Some Christian you are. You would probably call Jesus’ followers bums because they didnt work but spread the gospel. What about Lazarus? Do you think he was “on the dole” and needed to get a job too? Maybe, like the rich man, you will open your eyes in the hot place.

  • SandyM

    The only was to stop welfare momma’s is to change the current system I have a family member who as been on the dole since she was 18. She is now 71 and still on the dole! She learned the ropes and thrived. However, I feel the system should be changed. If a woman has a child and is unable to support herself, we cannot let the child suffer and should help. However, they should make it very clear, by law, that these moms will be penalized for having additional children, until they are able to support them. That is the responsible thing to do. Unless we make these woman, STOP using the free ride system, the problem is perpetuated and the next generation follows the process. Education or job training for mom should be mandatory, and child care assistance offered initially. We don’t owe people the right to expect the working people to support them for their entire lives.

    • tee

      ya well shoot the dead beat dads and they will start being fathers woeman will have help taking care of the kids it takes two and they should share responsibility

      • Sara

        I disagree with that, because there are a lot of deadbeat moms out there too. I agree that dads/moms should pay for their child, but what about the moms that take that money and spend it on themselves and let the kids with nothing…..see it all the time in my job…..I work with those kids….and the moms are out drinking, partying and bringing home all sorts of scum…and then subject the kids to that! then when the dads try to get custody, they can’t.

    • http://farmbill Essie


  • Govt Cashforthe People

    Don’t those Republicans know that the people need their cash hookup in order to go the polls and vote? Don’t they know that EBT can be cashed at many casinos and strip clubs? That food stamps are often traded for other services? At Sams Club and Costco you can use Food Stamps to buy your business supplies. Stimulus for the people!!

    • tee

      thats a lie

  • bluebird

    I worked for forty five years at a low paying job. While working I paid my bills on time but never was able to save any money. I am seventy four years old and now find that I need to have food stamps and SSI to live. I do not like to take the aid but without it I could not survive. I am a proud person and would rather work than accept aid, but cannot find a job. Not everyone who receives aid is someone trying to bilk to the system. I agree that there are many who should not be receiving aid but I thank God it is there for individuals who really need it.

  • Rez

    I’m all for revamping the welfare system, but let’s be realistic: when you have 50 people competing for a job flipping burgers at McDonalds, something is seriously wrong with this country. About 30 years ago, Slick Willie started selling us down the river with NAFTA, now all the decent paying jobs are all in other countries. Not everyone is cut out for college, and even if they were, there would still not be a job guaranteed on the other end of the degree. Let’s start by forcing the corporations to bring the skilled trades jobs back to America or face a huge tariff for importing products or outsourcing jobs. Make it so that it’s too expensive and it doesn’t make sense to outsource. We know that’s not gonna happen because the corporations own the politicians. It’s a vicious cycle that won’t stop until we do away with things like Citizens United.

    • http://farmbill Essie

      We need to follow the trail that led to jobs moving over seas. There were unions and labor became more expensive. Next, there was the dissolving of NATO, and world-wide trade was a reality. No longer could we stay in business if we did not find cheaper labor. i.e. auto workers getting huge pensions plus huge salaries for labor requiring no more than a high school education. So, businesses left, and the people hated the large businesses who move out to survive and to be competitive. Now we still hate businesses and corporations because they did what they were forced to do: find cheaper labor, or go under. We do silly things without looking for the trail of cause-effect which we ourselves, in our own greed, created. Now we will have to live with the consequences. Essie F.

    • http://farmbill Essie

      There are over 8 million “illegally here” people in the US holding jobs. Those who cannot find a job need not wonder why.

    • Gene

      Can someone explain to me the point of this comment? You can relax and feel good “Flipping Burgers” was not affected by “NAFTA” and although “Not everyone is cut out for college” the
      “Skilled trades jobs” still exist and people can still flip burgers for $15/hour. It’s easier for people to have children and collect food stamps than be responsible and get a job.

  • Kim

    Keep the food stamps OUT of The Farm Bill! Farmer’s don’t want it attached and when food stamps stand on their own it keeps the cost in check. Don’t worry, the politicians will hide food stamps in something else so we can’t see what’s going out.

  • Kim

    As I read through these comments most of these people DID NOT READ the article. This story is about the food bill is not linked to the farm bill anymore. The comments are about ‘why I need food stamps’. TWO TOTALY DIFFERNT ISSUES.

  • J.Lee

    There is ONLY one way to deal with republicans! …Kill them in their beds!