Despite the urging of several lawmakers who explained that SNAP cuts would make some school children ineligible for free and reduced lunches, the amendment failed with a 188-234 vote.
An additional amendment allow states the option of drug screening SNAP applicants passed by voice vote, while a few others asking for data on SNAP purchases and regarding the kind of items that can be purchased using SNAP were postponed for a roll call vote at a later date.
Farm Risk Management Election cap
House members also voted on an amendment to cap spending on the Farm Risk Management Election program at 110% of Congressional Budget Office-predicted levels for the first five years of the bill. In past years, Farm Bill spending has been higher than originally budgeted.
Virginia Foxx, D-N.C., explained the amendment as "one beautifully simple proposal" that puts a "finite number on an otherwise infinite liability." The intention, she said, is to better plan for mandatory spending in the bill.
But Lucas, who opposed the amendment, said it would "be a nightmare to administer" and "tie USDA in knots." Further, he noted, the programs as proposed only provide funds only when farmers face significant losses.
"Under this amendment, farmers would go from 100% guaranteed direct loans to a 100% guarantee that the safety net would fall short when they need it the most," he said.
Ultimately, the amendment passed with a 267-156 vote.
Price Loss Coverage
Another expected hurdle for the farm bill was an amendment from Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, to edit the Price Loss Coverage program by setting the target price for all crops at 55% of the five-year rolling Olympic average and change the acreage available for target price supports at 85% of the farmer's base acres.
Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., explained that the proposal sets target prices so high that some commodities are guaranteed an 8% profit.
"By setting the target prices for programs at this historically high level, it will all but ensure a much higher likelihood of government payouts in the future," he said, noting the potential for overplanting and a WTO challenge.