On Friday at Michigan State University, President Obama signed the farm bill. The bill is slated to be for a whopping $956 billion.
According to an article by Daniel Sheehan of the Allentown Morning Call, this bill will trim $8 billion over 10 years from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP. $8 billion seems like chump change compared to the $40 billion over 10 years that some Republicans had called for.
Sheehan’s article notes that the Lehigh Valley will be hit very hard by this new bill. Two Lehigh Valley Congressman, Republican Charlie Dent and Democrat Matt Cartwright, have conflicting views on how the bill will affect their areas. Dent voted yes, while Cartwright voted no.
“I did not come to Congress to kick the most vulnerable Americans off of food assistance,” said Cartwright on his Facebook page.
Dent gave a positive outlook towards the bill, saying that “states will no longer be able to ‘game’ the system by linking the Low Income Heating Assistance Program to eligibility for food stamps.”
In his article titled “Big Farm-a Gets a Raise in 2014 Farm Bill,” Willy Blackmore of takepart.com speaks more about this.
“The new cuts will hit hardest in the states that give poor people a nominal subsidy to heat their homes that automatically qualifies them for additional SNAP benefits.”
The bill will be in effect for the next five years. Many people seem to be skeptical about it, but only time will tell.