• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • House Conservatives Reaffirm Push for Separate Food Stamp, Farm Bills

    Rep. Louie Gohmert (Credit: Congressional Quarterly/Scott J. Ferrell/Newscom)

    Rep. Louie Gohmert (Credit: Congressional Quarterly/Scott J. Ferrell/Newscom)

    As negotiations continue over the farm bill, conservative members of Congress voiced their commitment to keeping agriculture programs separate from food stamps.

    “This House made the biggest reform that we could’ve hoped for in this Congress, and that was when we separated out the food stamps from the farm bill,” Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said Wednesday at Conversations with Conservatives on Capitol Hill.

    The House voted on two separate bills last summer, one related to agriculture programs and the other pertaining to food stamps. The bills were put back together again into one bill when the legislation was sent to conference where the House and Senate work out differences between their farm bills. However, the House did authorize food stamps for three years and farm programs for five years, meaning that at least in the future these programs will be considered separately.

    The Heritage Foundation has long contended separating the farm components from the food stamp portions of the bill is critical for real and meaningful reform.

    Heritage Research Fellow Daren Bakst explained, “The bill has historically combined food stamps with agricultural programs because legislators who would otherwise seek reform stay quiet in order to maintain the status quo of their favored program.”

    Gohmert said separate consideration would help to address “the redundancy and the fraud, waste, and abuse” within the food stamp program. He noted that Congress should “deal with the farm bill as a farm bill and not 80 percent of it being a public assistance bill.”

    Food stamps currently make up roughly 80 percent of the funding allocated in both the House and Senate farm bills. The House and Senate are currently working out differences between their bills, both of which will cost taxpayers close to $1 trillion dollars. The House and Senate disagree on some issues, including cuts to food stamps.

    The House bill would cut food stamps by about $39 billion dollars, a modest 5 percent reduction, while the Senate would cut about $4 billion, which amounts to a one-half of 1 percent reduction. To put the cuts in perspective, if the House’s minor cuts were adopted, annual food stamp spending would still be nearly double 2008 levels.

    Representative Steve King (R-IA), a member of the conference committee negotiating the bill, said conservatives would be disappointed with a deal currently being discussed related to food-stamp spending.

    Posted in Capitol Hill, Front Page [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.