Congress continues to be divided about the farm bill and is still debating food stamps. The Hill reports on Oct. 12 that negotiations are reaching the final stage. The latest vote of 204-195 was a loss for Democrats who wanted the bill to create the same timelines for both farm aid and food stamps.
The U.S. farm bill debates continue, but it does not seem likely that farm aid and food stamps will be linked together in one timeline again. The House would prefer to cut food stamps by $39 billion while the Senate would prefer to cut them by $4 billion. These cuts would occur over the next 10 years.
Although the main issue in the farm bill continues to be food stamps, there are other aspects that will require negotiation. Soil conservation is another contentious issue with the Senate and House divided on how the farm bill should handle it.
Meanwhile, NBC reports that the EBT system is down and is no longer accessible. EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards are issued to food stamp recipients who have discovered the cards are no longer working. Despite rumors, neither the government shutdown nor the U.S. farm bill votes are responsible for the EBT system problems. Instead, Xerox, the company that handles EBT cards, reveals there is a temporary system shutdown caused by a server. Xerox is working on restoring the system.