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Face-off over food assistance benefits

Posted: 5:16 PM, May 25, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-26 01:19:02Z

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Republican Congressman Brian Mast, who represents the district that covers Martin, St. Lucie and part of Palm Beach County, is responding to a group who called him out of touch when it comes to making changes to a food stamp funding program.

The disagreement revolves around a federal food stamp assistance program known as SNAP.

The proposed changes to a huge farm bill would require able-bodied SNAP recipients to work at least 20 hours a week or be in a job training program.

Supporters of SNAP, such as those at a rally in Fort Pierce on Wednesday, argue changes--including $20 billion in future funding cuts--could leave people hungry. They were calling on Mast to vote against the bill. That’s something he did not do last week in an initial vote.

 In an exclusive interview for this Sunday's To The Point program, I asked Mast what he has to say to the people who rely on the program.  

"We're talking about people with no children, between a certain age bracket that there's going to be work requirements for those that have SNAP provisions,” said Mast.  “That's one of the best provisions we can make when nearly every single employer I talk to in this area says I need more workers."

The farm bill was defeated in the House of Representatives last week. However, the bill is set to be voted on again in June.