Congressman Adrian Smith is pleased the House approved the $867 billion Farm Bill, even if on a narrow 213-to-211 vote.
“It’s a great first step and, obviously, we needed to get this done for the process to move forward,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network.
It was the second try in the House after enough Republicans voted against the bill the first time in a dispute on another matter to defeat it.
No House Democrats voted for the bill either time in protest over work requirements inserted in the nutrition program. Smith defends those requirements, arguing the economy is too strong for so many Americans to sit on the sidelines. The House measure would require someone to either enter a job training program or work at least 20 hours a week to receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as food stamps. It also restricts eligibility.
The House bill would cut $20 billion from SNAP over the next 10 years. Forty-two million Americans receive food stamps.
Smith says passage gives Congress time to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions, primarily those work requirements in the House food stamp program.
Smith is pleased with the agricultural policy in the bill.
“I think that the crop insurance language is especially strong,” Smith says. “Producers themselves tell me how important crop insurance is to their production. It certainly stands to reason”
The current Farm Bill expires at the end of September.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]