After the House’s failure to pass the farm bill, many have anxiously awaited what next steps the House would take. Today, the Republican leadership in the House announced they are splitting the major components of the farm bill. Meaning that the nutrition portion of the bill, which predominately made up of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), and the agricultural portion of the bill will be considered separately. The news of a split farm bill has received broad negative reactions from different groups around the country.
Since a sustainable food supply is closely related to the nutrition programs the Federal Government provides, groups across the country are questioning the motives behind the split. A united Farm Bill has long been viewed as a historically beneficial relationship that protects the integrity of those in need and the crops that provide their nutrition. Breaking apart the relationship injects serious uncertainty for all parties involved.
In the event either bill is approved by the House, they then move to the Senate, where most political pundits believe they will be rejected. In view of this, many groups view the split as a political move and not effective legislating. Failure to pass appropriate farm legislation by September 30th will result in unfavorable conditions for all farmers and Americans.
As it stands now a split farm bill is viewed by the broad public as the House shirking their responsibility. During these difficult times, farmers and the American people need the reassurance of a sustainable food source and nutrition program. Splitting these two programs puts both in jeopardy.