Food wars are brewing in Washington and in the United States, as lawmakers fight to avert another food crisis.
The issue is one of rising health costs, rising food prices and an increasingly polarized economy.
The battle has drawn bipartisan support.
The Senate passed a $25 billion food stamp package in December, but Republicans have blocked a $10 billion increase.
The House has voted to add another $15 billion in food aid to the bill.
Now is the time for lawmakers to find common ground on a package that can pass both chambers.
Here’s a look at how food wars are unfolding in Washington.
The Food War in Washington How the food fight is unfolding in Congress The fight over food stamps is a hot-button issue in Washington because of rising food costs and fears about the nation’s economic recovery.
A federal appeals court in June threw out a ruling that said food stamps can’t be used to buy junk food or sugary drinks.
The ruling was a major blow to food stamp recipients, who rely on the aid to buy food, clothing and other necessities.
Now, lawmakers are looking for ways to avoid a similar outcome.
Republicans have tried to move away from food stamps in recent years.
A few years ago, they would have approved a $1.9 trillion package that included food stamps.
But that bill died in the Senate and was eventually killed in the House.
But lawmakers in both chambers are pushing a more generous food aid package, including a $15-a-month increase in food stamps that is part of a broader package that includes spending on job training, grants for rural development, and other issues.
This new package, though, is much bigger and includes more money than the $1 billion approved in June.
That bill included $2.6 billion for job training and a $2 billion boost in job training for rural and suburban Americans.
It also included $7 billion to help struggling cities and towns expand access to broadband, and $3.5 billion for grants for urban businesses and for low-income families.
It’s also not clear whether a broader food package would include other spending on jobs, job training or grants.
The Republican-controlled House has already passed a version of the package, and Senate Republicans are expected to approve their own version in the coming weeks.
But the House bill includes a provision that would require the Treasury Department to use a portion of the money for job retraining, job placement and other programs.
The Obama administration has argued that such programs are essential to lifting millions of Americans out of poverty.
Democrats say they would be better off using food stamps to buy their own food, which would make the aid more palatable to the public.
But the Food War is not over.
In addition to raising the food stamp level, Republicans have also introduced several food safety bills.
They would increase food safety standards and allow manufacturers to label food products as safe.
Some Republicans also are pushing legislation that would allow states to increase the minimum wage and would allow businesses to keep operating in areas with high rates of obesity.
The Food War Is Firing Up Congress There are other fights brewing, too.
Republican lawmakers are pushing to make it harder for small businesses to hire people, especially young workers.
Some Democrats are trying to make food stamp payments conditional on businesses hiring Americans, a move that has been condemned by Republicans as a backdoor way to undermine the safety net.
But many Republicans say they’re concerned about the cost of such a move, saying it could discourage businesses from hiring.
A proposal by Sen. John Barrasso John Anthony BarrassoSenate Dems push to move next steps after Kavanaugh-Ford hearing Overnight Energy: Trump takes victory lap on oil market | Trump defends Keystone plan | White House is scrambling to find its footing | CBO: ‘It’s a bad day for American manufacturing’ Senate Dems take aim at Trump over energy bills MORE (R-Wyo.) to delay the expiration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program until 2018 and to give Congress until June 1 to act on a proposal by Rep. Fred Upton Fred William UptonTrump admin suspends aid to Puerto Rico, Guam amid food crisis Trump admin suspens aid to Texas after Hurricane Harvey Upton pushes for more funding for small business GOP congressman: GOP ‘willing to kill the program’ Senate Democrats say GOP ‘will kill the bill’ on food stamp changes MORE (Mich.) to ban new construction in rural areas, has been embraced by Republicans who say it could reduce the number of food stamp applications.
And House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway Michael (Mike) David ConawayOptions to reduce opioid overdose rise on Capitol Hill Dems fight to stop funding for family planning programs at farm bill MORE (Texas) wants to give the Food Stamp Program a $500,000 credit for any food purchases made at a restaurant or food court.
Conaway said it would also help the unemployed find jobs by giving them a job for a month.
For now, though the Food Wars are far from over, they’re making their mark