The Farm Bill will have profound consequences for the country, especially poor people and rural areas. Negotiations over it have completely stalled.
Only part of the Farm Bill concerns American farmers. The omnibus bill, which is updated at least every five years, also sets priorities and funding for a host of energy, environmental, infrastructure, job creation, and research programs, ranging from home loans for farmers to rural broadband support to land grant university funding. And it governs one of America’s most famous and vital safety-net components, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a.k.a food stamps, which covered 42 million people, including 19 million children as of 2016.
The Republicans are pushing hard to require people receiving food stamps to have to work a minimum of either 20 or 25 hours a week to continue receiving those food stamps. The purpose of food stamps is to assure that people who are unable to or can’t find work are able to eat, cutting them off means no food period.