Gillibrand fights for food stamps in Farm Bill

The federal food stamp
program has long been paid for as
part of the Farm Bill.  Speaking on
the Senate floor Wednesday, Senator Gillibrand said 300,000 families would
lose food assistance under the Senate version of the bill.

“Under this bill, families
in NY, who are already struggling, will lose 90 dollars a month, of food that
goes on to their tables. Think of a month long of food, it’s basically the last
week.  The last week a family will
not have enough food to feed their children,” said Gillibrand.

Gillibrand is a member of the
Senate Agriculture Committee.  She
made news earlier this year when she was the sole democrat on the committee to
vote against the bill.  Her opposition was largely because of the cuts to food stamps, and she said, “As a mother, as a
lawmaker, watching a child go hungry is something I will not stand for.  In this day and age, in a country as
rich as America is, it is unacceptable and should not be tolerated, and
certainly should not be
advocated for.”

The Senate agriculture
committee voted to cut total spending on the Farm Bill by $23 billion
over 10 years, the same figures approved by the House agriculture
committee.  Some Republican
lawmakers want to make even larger cuts: up to $30 billion, including
increased cuts to food stamps.  The
Senate is debating cuts somewhere between between $23 billion and $30 billion.

Gillibrand has introduced an
amendment to restore the $4.5 billion in food stamps.  It would involve getting the money by reducing
federal subsidies for crop insurance companies. Gillibrand said, “My amendment lowers
subsidies to companies from billions per year, to hundreds of millions per
year.  Anyone who argues that these
companies will struggle from this shift needs to meet a family that is
dependent on food stamps to feed their children.”

Congressman Bill Owens of
Plattsburgh expects Gillibrand’s plight to make a difference.  He’s a member of the house agriculture committee and said, “When you have both the house
and senate ag committee agreeing that that number should be around $23 billion,
and the

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