Bloomberg Law
March 16, 2023, 4:08 PM

Food-Aid Cost Draws GOP Ire at Vilsack Hearing: Farm Briefing

Maeve Sheehey
Maeve Sheehey

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack faced a nutrition inquisition at his first 2023 appearance before the Senate’s farm policy panel.

We couldn’t expect anything less, with GOP rancor about the Agriculture Department’s boost to benefits under the nation’s largest food assistance program. Republicans on Capitol Hill largely say that when they told the USDA to update benefit amounts, they weren’t expecting a 21% increase.

At today’s hearing, Vilsack stood by the agency position, which Democrats share: the 2018 farm bill authorized a readjustment of the Thrifty Food Plan, which determines benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. With rampant food inflation ...