the Senate passed the 2012 Farm Bill, a five-year authorization of a
number of agricultural programs, on a 64-35 vote. The final bill
reduces the federal deficit by $24 billion over the next decade and
includes $4.5 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program (SNAP), or food stamps. As detailed in a previous CWLA blog
post , those cuts will mean that approximately 500,000 families
receiving food stamps will lose about $90 per year in benefits. An
amendment offered by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) that would have
restored funding to SNAP was defeated 33-66.
provision in the bill, sponsored by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and
John McCain (R-AZ) requires the Obama Administration to provide more
information about the sequestration cuts scheduled to go into effect in
January, 2013. It requires the White House to produce a report to
Congress by the end of October detailing how it would implement the
sequestration cuts so that Congress will have more information about
their impact. Earlier this year CWLA produced a similar report (http://www.cwla.org/advocacy/StateCharts.pdf) with state-specific charts estimating how sequestration might effect a number of child welfare-related programs.
that the Senate has passed the Farm Bill, the focus will turn to the
House. The House Agricultural Committee is currently scheduled to mark
up its version of the bill on July 11. Any differences between the
House and Senate versions would have to be reconciled and approved by
both chambers, and the window for completing action before Congress
recesses for the elections will be closing quickly.