House begins Farm Bill debate

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Debate has begun in the House of Representatives on a farm bill – something that body failed to do last year.  Nebraska First District Congressman Jeff Fortenberry says there are some significant differences between the bill being discussed in the House and that passed earlier this year by the Senate. He says House bill would eliminate “categorical” eligibility for the SNAP program, meaning individuals could not be enrolled in the supplemental food program more commonly referred to as “food stamps,” just because of their participation in some other assistance program. They would be required to apply for the program and prove their eligibility.  Fortenberry says the House debated the farm bill late Wednesday night and is expected to take the matter up again today. He is hopeful that a bill can be passed this summer, conferenced with the Senate bill and sent on to President Obama for his signature.