The ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee told Bloomberg Government she will oppose an $81 billion disaster aid package if it includes any provision that would use funds from the supplemental nutrition assistance program to offset disaster relief.
The House passed a disaster aid package ( H.R. 4667) on Dec. 21 that includes language that sets up a “National Accuracy Clearinghouse (NAC),” a system aimed at making sure that Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients are not collecting benefits in multiple states.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee, told Bloomberg Government on Jan. 4 that the savings from the new system would offset other agriculture disaster relief funding. One provision in the bill that could take savings from SNAP is lifting the funding cap on livestock gross margin insurance, which would benefit dairy producers.
“I am not going to support any changes in SNAP to pay for disaster assistance,” said Stabenow. “It is a complete nonstarter using food assistance money for disaster relief.” She added that anything done to SNAP needs to be done in the 2018 farm bill.
However, Stabenow said she would not necessarily be opposed to looking at a system like NAC, as long as it is tied to the farm bill.
The disaster package, which hasn’t been passed by the Senate, would include $2.6 billion for the Department of Agriculture to address crop losses such as those affecting Florida citrus growers who were hit by Hurricane Irma last summer. The USDA estimated fruit losses of as much as 100 percent in some areas, along with the increased spread of citrus greening, a bacterial disease.
Senators have not said when they will take up the House-passed $81 billion disaster aid bill, and Democrats have called for changes to the package including waiving a requirement for Puerto Rico to match some federal relief funds. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said disaster funds could be tied to a spending bill, although he did not specify whether that meant a continuing resolution to fund the government past Jan. 19 or a later omnibus spending bill.
With assistance from Jack Fitzpatrick
To contact the reporter on this story: Teaganne Finn in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2018 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)