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North Dakota Farmers and Allies Oppose Trump Food Stamp Cuts

Donald Trump doesn’t want to give poor people health insurance or food. The White House 2018 budget would cut $193 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—food stamps—over ten years, largely by shifting costs to the states. (Burden on South Dakota’s budget: $252 million over ten years.)

Former Agriculture Committee member Rep. Kristi Noem is more occupied with Snapchat than with SNAP. But at least North Dakota farmers and anti-hunger advocates recognize that cutting SNAP is bad for families and farmers:

[Great Plains Food Bank Pres. Steve] Sellent said the effects of cutting SNAP would be devastating to families in North Dakota, which receives about $10 million from the program.

“Congress knows a farm bill alliance that helps both farmer and consumers is a workable path forward,” [farmer Bill] Hejl said. “An executive budget that cuts $193 billion from a program for hungry people shakes the foundation of that alliance, and it’s not right.”

[Rancher Ryan] Taylor said the current farm bill, passed in 2014 will expire in September 2018. However, work on the comprehensive agriculture and food law is beginning now in committees where talk of decoupling or removing SNAP from the federal bill has started to swirl.

SNAP has been a part of the farm bill since 1964, a component that not only helps feed those in need but brings together rural and urban political interests when compromising on the massive agricultural bill, Taylor said.

“It connects those who grow the food with those that eat the food,” [Farmers Union organizer Brandon] Delvo said. “Legislation that supports family farm and ranch agriculture creates a stronger rural America.”

Taylor, a rancher, said farmers, businesses, consumers and service groups such as the Great Plains Food Bank are coming together now to let Congress know how important it is to keep SNAP funded [Wendy Reuer, “ND Groups Unite to Support Food Stamp Program in Future Farm Bills,” Prairie Business, 2017.06.21].

Making sure everybody eats is good for everybody. The Trump party’s budget cutting reflects both a failure to recognize our nation’s common interests and a lack of faith in the wealth and strength of this country.

One Comment

  1. mike from iowa 2017-06-23 18:28

    Farm state senators and reps used to give a snot about their farmers and the less fortunate when it came to food stamps and price supports. Something happened recently that infected farm state wingnuts in the brain. I’m guessing it was the forlorn plight of the well to do.

    Wingnuts must assume the wealthy suffered terrible losses at the hands of that dastardly Obama character and now they want to kissy-kissy and make the koch bros feel better with lots of billions in taxcuts as far as the eye can see.

    Meanwhile, the poors have little competition for garbage scraps at fast food restaurants what with dogs being kept on leashes or chained up. What was it that Jeebus fella said- give the wealthy a billion bucks and they’ll steal a trillion?

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