Barr says House version of farm bill without SNAP isn't perfect but is a step in the right direction

07/15/2013 07:41 PM

While Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr said the U.S. House version of renewal of the farm bill isn’t perfect, he defended his vote last week as a necessary one for Kentucky farmers.

The U.S. House recently pushed through a renewal of the farm bill that left out spending for the food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.

Barr voted for the new version of the bill along with the other four Republican members of Kentucky’s delegation in the House.

“I voted for both versions, the one with the commodity and nutrition title together and the one that was separated because I think it is important to provide certainty and stability to our farmers,” Barr said.

The House bill provides $1 billion dollars more than even what Democrats in the Senate for substitutes and crop insurance. Barr said that while he doesn’t believe the bill is perfect in terms of fiscal responsibility, it is a step in the right direction.

“I think since we do away with the direct payments, in other words payments to farmers who don’t produce crops…payments to farmers who don’t do anything, the savings far outweigh any increases in providing stability and certainty in the crop insurance area,” Barr said (at 2:30).

Now that the nutrition program is separate from the bill, Barr said he hopes the U.S. Senate deals with the farm bill and it comes back and looks like the first version of the bill that he supported earlier this spring that included both the farm subsidies and crop insurance but also the SNAP funding.

“A SNAP program that is reformed, that reflects the generous nature of our country, that helps people in times of need but then also offers a chance for people to become self-sufficient again,” Barr said (at 6:45).

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