Law makers in Washington D.C. are struggling to pass a new farm bill that would replace the previous one, that was passed in 2008. The bill passed in 2008 is still in action. However, it will expire before the new year. So, the House of Representatives and the Senate need to work quickly to resolve any issues, so that they can enact a new bill by the end of the month. The House of Representatives and the Senate have been working hard to resolve this, but they are not agreeing in many ways, and this is making passing a new bill in time unlikely.
The two main components of the farm bill are providing subsidies to farmers as well as providing food stamps to the poor. The Senate and the House of Representatives remain the farthest apart on cutting the food stamp program. “A House proposal would cut about $40 billion from the program, while a Senate version would trim toughly $4.5 billion, mainly by making administrative changes”(Nixon, 2013a). There is a drastic difference between the two, and this is why they are having difficulty making a decision.
The two people who have the greatest ability to resolve this issue are Senator Debbie Stabenow and Representative Frank D. Lucas. Senator Stabenow is chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and Representative Lucas is the leader of the House Agriculture Committee. Representative Lucas stated that just extending the previous bill for the second time would be the “responsible thing to do given our tight deadline”(Nixon, 2013a). However, there is a reason why both the House of Representatives and the Senate are pushing for a new bill; the previous one has some major flaws.
It is not only the policy makers that find this to be true. For example, Thomas Bond lives in Belzoni, Mississsippi and owns a partnership of farms that grow cotton. This is located in the Mississippi Delta, where Thomas Bond believes there are many people that are in need of food stamps. However, they are not receiving them and his own partnership of farms “received $4 million in federal subsidies in the last seven years”(Nixon, 2013b). He also believes that many people receive food stamps that should not, making the bill corrupt. (Nixon, 2013b)
There is no doubt that the way that food stamps in the United States is distributed is dysfunctional. Many people abuse the system and find ways to obtain food stamps when they are not really in need of them. However, there are many people that truly do need them. Therefore, a significant cut in food stamps is not the solution. Instead, the federal funding for this program needs to be distributed correctly.
Monica Stokes is on the other side of this. Previously, she received a small amount in food stamps. However, because her income rose slightly, she works at a check-cashing store near Thomas Bond’s farms, she was cut off from the program. Her attitude toward this bill is very emotional. She believes that the farms receive too much federal money, while individuals like her, who make...