WASHINGTON, July 12, 2012 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a statement criticizing the House Agriculture Committee’s farm bill, which passed early Thursday morning with a 35 to 11 vote, for its $16 billion in spending reductions to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The Senate-passed farm bill contained only $4 billion in cuts to the program.
“Unfortunately, the bill produced by the House Agriculture Committee contains deep cuts in SNAP, including a provision that will deny much-needed food assistance to 3 million Americans, mostly low-income working families with children as well as seniors,” Vilsack said. “The proposed cuts will deny 280,000 children in low-income families access to school meals and reduce farm income across rural America. These cuts wouldn’t just leave Americans hungry – they would stunt economic growth.”
He also characterized the House Agriculture Committee bill’s savings in the energy and conservation titles as “misguided reductions.”
“As the legislative process moves forward, the Administration will continue to seek policy solutions and savings across the Farm Bill that are consistent with the President’s budget,” he said.
President Barack Obama’s proposed budget, which Congress rejected, contained a total of $32 billion in savings from USDA, including the elimination of direct payments and reductions to the crop insurance program.
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