Government
2:00 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Harkin: House needs to compromise on funding for nutrition programs

U.S. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa says it’s up to the House to compromise on nutrition program benefits in the farm bill.

U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, D-IA
U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, D-IA

A Conference Committee began meeting Wednesday to work out the differences in the two plans. The Senate’s farm bill cut $4 billion dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The House bill, on the other hand, cut SNAP by $40 billion. Harkin says 400,000 Iowans depend on SNAP benefits.

"This careful balance is kept in the Senate bill, which continues critical food, agriculture, energy, and rural programs while reducing federal spending. But we have a problem. The same extreme, ideology-driven folks in the House of Representatives who forced a government shutdown are demanding radical cuts to federal food assistance programs, which benefit the most vulnerable among us, children, seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low-wage workers."

Harkin says the agriculture industry is responsible for one of five jobs in Iowa, and is 25 percent of the state’s economic output. His comments came Thursday during the Iowa Senator’s weekly conference call with media.