U.S. Senate Passes Farm Bill

The Senate passed a farm bill on Thursday that is expected to set up a fight with the House over whether to tighten work requirements for food stamp recipients.

The Senate bill, which authorizes farm policy and programs until 2023, also includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, also known as the federal food stamp program. As passed, the Senate bill makes only minor changes to SNAP and does not mirror House language that significantly bolsters work requirements for many able-bodied adults who use food stamps.

The Senate bill won 86 votes, and only 11 senators opposed the bill. The House approved a five-year farm bill last week on a party-line vote. Every Democrat voted against it, citing the food stamp changes.

The White House criticized the Senate farm bill for not tightening work requirements for food stamp recipients and omitting regulatory reform proposals, but the Administration notably stopped short of threatening a veto of the legislation.

The current farm program authorization measure expires Sept. 30.

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