Congress is expected to begin work soon on the $140 billion farm bill, but there are concerns that some in Congress are targeting nutrition programs for cuts. Food programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and subsidized school lunches are a big part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s budget, and hunger fighting advocates fear they could become targets.
Weill says the recently passed tax bill is projected to mean a $1.5 trillion deficit in the federal budget over the next decade.
He says some of the same Congreemen who voted for the tax bill are now looking to cut social programs to help shrink the deficit the tax bill is creating.
Weill points out SNAP and other food assistance plans make up about 70 percent of the USDA budget. He says while preserving those programs is the primary goal, some improvements are also needed.
Weill says it’s critical for lawmakers to understand the value of SNAP and the working people who benefit from the program.
But with several other major issues facing Congress, Weill says it could be spring before lawmakers take up the farm bill.