The battle this summer to renew a trillion-dollar farm bill to cover the next decade of spending is expected to divide the House along party lines as Democrats fight to continue funding 43 million Americans on food stamps while Republicans insist on reforms to reduce spending.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the nation’s largest federal welfare programs, second only to Medicaid, with an estimated cost of $800 billion over the next 10 years.
But House Republicans have already shown their willingness to cut even farther when they passed the budget earlier this year, approving cuts of $13 billion a year in food stamps.
The Senate finished its work on the massive farm bill June 21 on a final vote of 64-35 that included a cut of $4.5 billion in the food stamp program.
Democrats and a handful of Republicans beat back efforts by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to prohibit states from waiving eligibility requirements and to eliminate bonuses to states that he says deliberately swells the rolls. Sessions said in a statement his legislation would have saved $11 billion over 10 years.