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Farm Bill ignites debate on food stamp spending amid $30 billion cut

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A $1.5 trillion Farm Bill supported by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representative has sparked criticism among Democrats for cutting $30 billion from the former food stamps program.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit costs, formerly known as food stamps, have increased from $55.6 billion in fiscal year 2019 to $107.04 billion in fiscal year 2023.

The average monthly benefit has increased from $129.83 in fiscal year 2019 to $211.57 in fiscal year 2023. That’s a 36% increase in the cost of benefits over that four-year period when adjusted for inflation.

The House Committee on Agriculture on Friday approved the Farm, Food, And National Security Act of 2024, better known as the Farm Bill that has a tremendous impact on food and food subsidies in the U.S.

The bill totaled $1.5 trillion and was the first Farm Bill to break a trillion dollars, according to ABA Banking Journal.

The U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee passed the bill 33-21 with just four Democratic votes as the Republicans have majority control. The Democrats control the U.S. Senate and that House bill would have to be reconciled with the Senate bill.

U.S. Congresswoman Shontel Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, criticized the House bill, saying it would cut $30 billion over the next 10 years from future SNAP benefits.

“This partisan Farm Bill punishes the poor, picks winners and losers in commodities, undermines climate and conservation programs, and fails to properly support Black farmers, farmers from underserved communities, and new and family farmers,” Brown said in a media release.

The House Agriculture Committee Democrats said the bill would be the largest cut to SNAP in nearly 30 years.