Gillibrand 'will not stand for' cuts to food stamps in the farm bill

Next week, the Senate Agriculture Committee is expected to again start work on a five-year farm bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he’d like to vote on that legislation by the end of the month.

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Last year the Senate passed a farm bill that would have reduced spending by $23 billion on a bipartisan vote of 64-35. But the House farm bill never made it to the floor. 

A new Congressional Budget Office score of last year’s Senate bill found that it would now only save $13 billion in spending over 10 years, which likely will not be enough to satisfy Republicans. Last year's House farm bill reduced spending by $35 billion, largely through cuts to the food stamps program.

Gillibrand opposed cutting the food assistance program in last year’s bill and said she’d fight it again this year.

“In this tough economy, a family losing this access to food assistance would be devastating,” Gillibrand said Friday. “More than half of food stamp recipients are children, eight percent are seniors and unfortunately, as many veterans are using food stamps as any time in history. As a mother and a lawmaker, watching a child go hungry is something I just will not stand for.”

Gillibrand said she plans to introduce an amendment to the Senate farm bill to restore the proposed $4 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps. She serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee.