Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 29, 2014

Republicans Pass Farm Bill Without Food Stamps

“Republicans muscled a pared-back agriculture bill through the House…stripping out the food stamp program to satisfy recalcitrant conservatives… It was the first time food stamps had not been a part of the farm bill since 1973,” the New York Times reports.

“The food stamp program, formally called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, was 80 percent of the original bill’s cost, and it remains the centerpiece of the Senate’s bipartisan farm bill… House and Senate negotiators could produce a compromise measure with the robust food stamp program the Senate wants, but such a bill would almost certainly have to pass the House with significant Republican defections.”

Matthew Yglesias says the vote shows that House Republicans are “motivated by callous disregard for the welfare of poor families… Because they don’t have a problem with spending $195 billion over ten years, they just want to make sure it goes to the right people. Not poor people, in other words. Farmers. Farmers who, on average, are richer than the typical American.”

Ross Douthat calls this “a vision of government that you might call ‘small government for thee, but not for me,’ in which conservatism is just constituent services for the most reliable Republican groups and voters.”

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