U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski voted for the five-year farm bill, which the U.S. House passed Wednesday, Jan. 29.
More reforms will likely be needed in future farm bills, the Elkhart Republican said in a statement, “but I am pleased this agreement contains important provisions to end direct payments, strengthen crop insurance for family farmers and producers and consolidate and streamline more than 100 programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”
The measure passed 251-166, with the Senate expected to take it up later in the week.
Funding for food stamps or, more formally, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is contained in the farm bill, which calls for total spending of nearly $1 trillion over its term. The New York Times reported that the new farm bill cuts food stamps by $8 billion, with 850,000 households to lose about $90 a month in benefits due to the change.
U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Howe, voted against the measure. He had called for considering SNAP funding separate from the agricultural elements of the farm bill.
“Not only does this farm bill recombine food stamps and farm programs, it actually spends even more than the bill the Senate passed," he said in comments Wednesday on the House floor, according to his office. “This is exactly the kind of logrolling that we fought to prevent this summer."
Wednesday's measure represents a compromise between House and Senate versions of the bill, in the works for several months. Indiana's two senators, Republican Dan Coats and Democrat Joe Donnelly, issued statements Tuesday welcoming the compromise version.