Farm Bill Debate Continues in Senate

As the Senate continued to debate the farm bill Wednesday - an amendment to repeal the nutrition entitlement programs and establish a nutrition assistance block grant program was defeated 36 to 60. Oklahoma's James Inhofe offered the amendment - noting that people in his state are shocked to find that a high percentage of farm bill spending is for nutrition programs. All of the Senators voting in favor of the Inhofe amendment were Republicans. While lobbyists have said maintaining federal nutrition spending as part of the farm bill is vital to garnering votes for the farm bill in the House - the majority of Ag Committee Republicans voted for the amendment. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Mike Johanns (Nebraska), Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), John Boozman (Arkansas) and John Thune (South Dakota) voted to turn SNAP into a block grant to the states. Thad Cochran (Mississippi), Saxby Chambliss (Georgia), Pat Roberts (Kansas) and John Hoeven (North Dakota) voted to maintain the current program. Senators also defeated an amendment to change the sugar program 45 to 54.

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