A farm bill that passed the Senate in late June (64-35) and was supported by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI.), Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, will be voted on in the House today.
But opponents of the bill argue that it is too expensive, and cannot be justified because a large portion of this farm bill is actually geared toward the spending of food stamps.
Of the $969 billion price tag for the current farm bill, 80 percent of funding would go toward the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), a program that effectively spends food stamp resources.
According to a bloggers conference call with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the farm subsidy bill from 2008 that was vetoed by President George W. Bush (and later overridden by Congress) was worth more than $600 billion, and opponents argued it was too expensive then.
Jordan said the new huge spending bill is not only bad, but the wrong time to be spending so much money under current economic conditions. And according to Jordan, another reason conservatives do not support the bill because they are against government intervention in the free market.
“At some point we are going to have to cut some spending,” said Jordan. “This is going to cost taxpayers a boatload of money.”
There has already been a large increase in the number of Americans on food stamps in the last three years, and the current farm bill could increase that number.
“Apparently, 1 in 7 in the population think that it is okay for someone else to feed them,” Jordan said. There are currently 46 million people on food stamps nationwide.
Also on the conference call was American Commitment President Phil Kerpen, who said it is wrong that food stamps and farm subsidies are wrapped up together in one bill.
“They should be separate pieces of legislation,” Kerpen stated. “This is actually $70 billion more. It is a 22 percent increase in funding. We should not be increasing this at all.”