More than 47 million Americans, or 1 in 7, are using the program. The Senate passed a bill including bothfoodstampsand farm programs in June. Later that month, the House defeated a farm bill that included both thefoodand farm programs after conservatives said itsfoodstampcuts around $2 billion a year weren’t high enough. GOP leaders then split the farm programs from thefoodstampsand passed a farm-only bill in July. Conservatives crafted thefoodstampbill, saying highercutswould be easier to pass in a stand-alone bill. Getting the three bills into a House-Senate conference could be tricky under House rules. Republicans said Thursday that one more step is needed the House will have to hold a procedural vote to allow both the farm andfoodstampbills to go to conference. It is unclear if Republicans who pushed to split the two bills will oppose that effort. Most of current farm law expires at the end of this month, but its effects won’t be felt until the end of the year when some dairy supports expire. Without those supports, milk prices are expected to rise. Other farm supports won’t expire until next year, but farmers have been frustrated with the drawn-out debate that has now lasted two years, saying they need more government certainty as they manage their farm operations. Thefoodstampbill passed by the House would allow states to put the work requirements in place for SNAP recipients but would not force them to. The bill would allow the states to require 20 hours of work activities per week from any able-bodied adult with a child over age 1 who has child care available, and for all parents whose children are over age 6 and attending school.

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Those who sent us letters to the editor this week were almost unanimous in their opposition to the Republican-controlled House’s vote to pass a spending cut that would remove nearly 4 million Americans from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, which provides aid to families and individuals who, for a variety of reasons, have significant trouble paying for food. Many said this action amounted to an attack on those who could least afford it; others called it immoral and unprecedented. Here is a selection of those letters. — Paul Thornton, letters editor Altadena resident J.H. Benson questions the GOP ‘s morality: “House Republicans are badly in need of a moral compass. Their hypocrisy is only surpassed by their cruelty. “The GOP says that the 4 million Americans who will be kicked off SNAP are capable of helping themselves. I hope that our very capable farmers aren’t being subsidized while this assistance to the poor is deemed too expensive.” Long Beach resident Matthew Black points out more pressing spending concerns: “The GOP has truly hit a new low. After increasing annual defense spending by more than $300 billion since 2001, spending $2 trillion on unnecessary wars and passing $1.7 trillion in tax cuts between 2001 and 2003 that primarily went to the wealthiest Americans, Republicans need to save $40 billion on food stamps. “Way to go. Why do I feel I’m reading a Charles Dickens novel? “And for those who might reply that Democrats should put their money where their mouths are, this week I donated another $250 to a local food bank. I contribute 5% of my disposable income to food banks.” Frances Terrell Lippman of Sherman Oaks picks up on the Dickens reference: “I guess those Scrooge-like, coldhearted House Republicans thought of an early holiday surprise. How generous of them to think it would be appropriate just to remind people who are hungry and struggling that it would get a little more impossible for them to feed their families. Their apathy is only exceeded by their cruelty.