Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 14, 2018. 


Hate Crimes on the rise in the United States. Also on the Wednesday rundown: a big hearing in Denver on a proposed rollback of methane limits; plus find out about "Give to the Max Day."

Daily Newscasts

Contentious Farm Bill Heads to U.S. House for Debate

Democrats on the losing side of the Agriculture Committee's vote to forward the 2018 Farm Bill to the full House say a provision to remove 2 million people from food stamps will never pass. (nrdc.org)
Democrats on the losing side of the Agriculture Committee's vote to forward the 2018 Farm Bill to the full House say a provision to remove 2 million people from food stamps will never pass. (nrdc.org)
April 19, 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa – The 2018 Farm Bill is now headed to the House floor in Washington after Wednesday's approval by the GOP-controlled House Agriculture Committee on a party-line vote.

In addition to requiring new work and job requirements from those who receive food stamps, sustainable farming advocates say the bitterly contested bill would eliminate programs that help farmers get their products to market and undermine successful investments that have helped create more resilient farms.

Policy director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Greg Fogel, says the current farm bill is more extreme than other farm bills in attacking sustainable agricultural programs.

"There's definitely a certain vision behind this farm bill and it's not one that puts small and mid-sized farms or diversified agriculture or organic agriculture or beginning farmers or the environment front and center," says Fogel.

The Agriculture Committee is asking Congress to vote on the Farm Bill by early May. The Farm Bill was drafted by Republicans without input from Democrats.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has hailed the bill as a "critical component" of the House Republican agenda. The Farmers Union opposed the bill and called for language to provide more funding for working lands and energy programs.

The bill would eliminate the nation's 70-million-acre Conservation Stewardship Program, with cuts to incentive programs that help protect water quality, conserve soil and build resilience to floods and drought.

Fogel says it also would eliminate investment in programs that connect farmers with new local customers.

"It's more extreme than any other farm bill in the past, in its attack on these sustainable ag programs,” says Fogel. “You see these programs working every day in communities, and this bill would end all that."

The Farm Bill also adds new work and job-training requirements for recipients of the nation's nutrition assistance program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps. If passed, workers in their 50s would be ineligible to receive food assistance if they are not working 20 hours a week or participating in an approved training program.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - IA