Divide over food stamp program holding up farm bill says Schock

By Audrey Williams

September 17, 2012 Updated Sep 18, 2012 at 9:36 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- Congressman Aaron Schock says a divide over the food stamp program is preventing the 5 year farm bill in the House of Representatives from being called to a vote.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D) says a bi-partisan farm bill, which also reduces the federal deficit, was passed out of the senate several weeks ago.

Durbin says holding up a bill, which funds farming subsidies, is not fair to the taxpayers or the farmers.

"Farmers are asking us for certainty as to what their future will be for the next 5 years. They've got to make important, make or break, business decisions and the failure of the House of Representatives to pass a Farm bill makes it increasingly difficult," said Durbin.

Meanwhile, House Republican Aaron Schock says $0.80 out of every dollar spent in the farm bill goes toward the food stamp program. He says the fight is over how to change the program's policies.

"Right now, what the administration has done is said, 'if you qualify for any state program in any state, any assistance program, you automatically are enrolled in food stamps', so it's driven the cost of the food stamp program up," said Schock.

Schock said each person seeking assistance should prove they meet the income and asset qualifications to receive food stamps.

He adds he is confident they will at least pass a 6 month extension by the September 30 deadline.

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