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Without SNAP cuts, PA and NY reps vote for Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, DC — A compromise on the terms of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, more commonly referred to as the Farm Bill, passed in congress last week, meaning all that’s left of the $867 billion bill is a signature from the President.

The most recent version of the bill, which does not include the restrictions to SNAP food stamps favored by many Republicans, passed with full bipartisan support in New York and nearly complete bipartisan support in Pennsylvania. Rep. Faso, on his way out in New York, voted in favor of the bill, as did both senators from that state. In Pennsylvania, Rep. Scott Perry, R-4th district, voted against the compromise, as did Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-12th district. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-11th district, did not vote.

The House version of the bill, which passed in June, would have included cuts and restrictions to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. Those restrictions would have required states to impose work requirements for recipients ages 49 to 59, as well as parents with children between 6 and 12. The newest version of the bill does not impose those restrictions.

Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey voted against the bill because it lacked those SNAP restrictions. “This Farm Bill is a wasted opportunity to rein in excessive spending and end corporate welfare,” Toomey said in a statement. “It makes no attempt to curb taxpayer-funded handouts or reform the broken sugar program that forces American consumers to pay twice as much for sugar as the rest of the world. Further, efforts to establish a reasonable work requirement for adult, able-bodied food stamp recipients with no dependents, were abandoned. American farmers, consumers and taxpayers deserved better.”

In Sullivan County, more than 12,000 people—about 16% of the population—receive SNAP benefits, according to the Federal Reserve. In Wayne County, more than 6,000 people receive those benefits, amounting to roughly 12% of the population.

For more information on the Farm Bill, see the editorial on page 6.


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