Burr and Hagan support farm bill and SNAP


Recent Senate Votes
Farm Bill – Passage - Vote Passed (66-27, 7 Not Voting)

The Senate gave overwhelming approval to the five-year re-authorization of farm, conservation, and nutrition programs, setting up a legislative showdown with the House.

The final vote, which cleared the measure 66-27, came after two weeks of debate and more than 200 amendments offered on the Senate floor. Seven senators missed the vote because of travel delays. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Senate bill would cost $18 billion less than the 2008 farm policy law (PL 112-240), which expires Sept. 30. Senators trimmed $4 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides food aid to the poor, by requiring that recipients receive a minimum payment of $10 from a heating assistance program to be eligible for SNAP.

Nutrition assistance will be a major sticking point with the House version, which cuts SNAP by $20.5 billion. The Senate bill ends $5 billion a year in direct payments made to farmers and landowners, channeling off those funds to create a hybrid of insurance-like plans and other price controls to help farmers protect against steep market drops. It would reduce support for farmers earning more than $750,000 annually, following a study on the effects of implementation.

Unlike the House measure, the bill requires subsidized insurance program participants to meet soil and water conservation requirements. It also replaces dairy price support programs with new insurance and a supply management plan to reduce price-depressing supply surpluses. Before passing the bill, the chamber adopted, 48-38, an amendment from Vermont Democrat Patrick J. Leahy that would provide for ultra-high-speed broadband service in a rural Internet pilot program.

Sen. Richard Burr voted YES
Sen. Kay Hagan voted YES


SNAP: Taking the extreme out of extreme poverty

From Daily Kos:

That rise [in poverty], by the way, was driven by the grand and glorious welfare reform law of 1996. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reminds us that:

One reason SNAP is so effective in fighting extreme poverty is that it focuses its benefits on many of the poorest households. Roughly 91 percent of monthly SNAP benefits go to households below the poverty line, and 55 percent go to households below half of the poverty line (about $9,800 for a family of three). One in five SNAP households lives on cash income of less than $2 per person a day...

What the US Senate is proposing, and what the US House would make even worse, is cutting food and nutrition programs for folks who will now go hungry, if their proposed changes are enacted in law.

Martha Brock