“The price of a farm bill should not be making more people hungry in America,” -Rep. Jim McGovern
Last week, the proposed Farm Bill FAILED on the House floor by a vote of 195-234.
There are many unanswered questions about where we go from here and what it means if a farm bill is not approved later this year, but for now, it's worth relishing in the fact that this time around, the farm bill didn't simply sail through Congress.
This farm bill proposal included over $20 billion in cuts to SNAP (formerly food stamps), $2.5 billion in cuts to food aid, and policy changes that would have substantially increased hunger for years to come. The House bill also included amendments that would have instituted a lifetime ban on SNAP for ex-offenders and imposed harsher work requirements on all beneficiaries.
For the past few months, individuals (like all of you who participated in Food Bloggers Against Hunger and sent letters to your representatives), and numerous organizations have been fighting to make a difference in our food system, and although there is still much to accomplish, our collective voice is starting to be heard.
Here are a few responses from around the web:
Washington Post: The House farm bill unexpectedly failed. So what happens next?
New York Times: House Rejects Farm Bill as Food Stamp Cuts Prove Divisive
Huffington Post: Food Stamp Cuts Derail Farm Bill