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House Republicans, Democrats battle over SNAP benefits in farm bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House farm bill is expected to come to a vote before the weekend.

The once bipartisan bill is now deeply partisan, in large part because of proposed cuts to SNAP benefits.

Kansas Republican Congressman Roger Marshall says it took three years and 114 hearings, but the 2018 farm bill is ready for a vote.

"This is like that final exam everyone has been working on," said Marshall.

Republicans, like Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, are excited about the bill. She says it provides a safety net for farmers.

"This bill is so important to rural America, it's so important for every American who eats," Hartzler.

But Democrats aren't excited, they're angry.

Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern says the new farm bill completely changes the government food assistance program known as SNAP.

"If our Republican friends actually listened to their voices they would join us and vote against this monstrosity of a bill that attacks working American citizens and takes lunch money," said McGovern

The bill requires food stamp recipents between 18 and 59 years old that are physically able, to work at least twenty hours a week. 

Democrats say the changes would leave millions of Americans hungry, but Marshall says it's about helping people get off wellfare and back to work.

"I think we need to measure the success of this program from how many people we move from support to a job, and I think that is exactly what this bill does," said Marshall..

The House is set to vote on the bill on Friday.


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