November 20, 2018

A Lame Duck Farm Bill

The 115th Congress has one last fight left in it

by Chris Thomas

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Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

The federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) — or the Food Stamps program — is under attack by the lame duck 115th Congress. Back in September the 2014 Farm Bill expired and Congress needs to pass another one.

A version of the bill (H.R 2) has already passed the House and the Senate but the versions passed by each house of Congress differ. Now Congress has to work out a compromise version in Conference Committee and get that past both chambers again before the new Congress is sworn in in January.

What’s the difference?

The House version of the bill strictly tightens work requirements for food stamp assistance. Under the House-proposed rules, SNAP recipients would have to work a part time job or participate in a work-training program for 20 hours a week to receive benefits. Even a single month of non-compliance could cost them their nutritional assistance.

Over in the Senate, the bill is subject to a filibuster and Senate Democrats oppose tightening the work requirement.

What’s next?

In the very near future the Conference Committee will have to produce a bill which will return to both houses for a final vote. If the tightened work requirement survives the conference committee Senate Democrats will still have an opportunity to filibuster the bill but they will be under a lot of pressure to allow it to pass. If the Farm Bill doesn’t pass the 115th Congress the 116th will have to start the legislative process over, delaying an already late bill.

Tell Congress What You Think

Agriculture and nutrition are issues that should matter to every American. To tell your government know what you think about the Farm Bill, just send the word Resist to Resistbot on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or as a Twitter direct message. If none of those work for you, Resistbot also supports old fashioned SMS: text RESIST to 50409 to get started. It takes 2 minutes to make a difference.

Who should I write to?

Congress works for all of us, so no matter where you live you should feel free to weigh in on this issue. Even so, Americans with Senators or Representatives on the Conference Committee have a louder voice right about now. If you live in any of the following districts and/or states, Congress needs to hear from you.

States

  • Michigan — Senator Debbie Stabenow (D)
  • Vermont — Senator Patrick Leahy (D)
  • Ohio — Senator Sherrod Brown (D)
  • North Dakota — Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D) & Senator John Hoeven (R)
  • Kansas — Senator Pat Roberts (R)
  • Kentucky — Senator Mitch McConnell (R)
  • Arkansas — Senator John Boozeman (R)
  • Iowa — Senator Joni Ernst (R)

Districts

  • Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL)
  • Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR)
  • Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR)
  • Rep. RaĂşl Grijalva (D-AZ)
  • Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ)
  • Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)
  • Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA)
  • Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA)
  • Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
  • Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL)
  • Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL)
  • Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA)
  • Rep. David Scott (D-GA)
  • Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA)
  • Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL)
  • Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL)
  • Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL)
  • Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS)
  • Rep. James Comer (R-KY)
  • Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA)
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA)
  • Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN)
  • Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN)
  • Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
  • Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC)
  • Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC)
  • Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC)
  • Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
  • Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND)
  • Rep. Ann Kuster (D-NH)
  • Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)
  • Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY)
  • Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY)
  • Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH)
  • Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH)
  • Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH)
  • Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK)
  • Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA)
  • Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
  • Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX)
  • Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
  • Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX)
  • Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)
  • Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)
  • Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
  • Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI)
  • Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI)
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