Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Local News

August 23, 2013

Congressman Braley stops in Knoxville

(Continued)

Turmoil continues to exist in the Middle East, and Braley was asked how involved America should be in these situations. Braley believes that America is fatigued because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but did not rule out support for American intervention.

“I see (fatigue) in the faces of parents of soldiers,” Braley said. With power shifting and the coup in Egypt, Braley said it can be difficult to determine who in the Middle East is a friend or an enemy. If we choose sides, we learn quickly. Braley believes there is a fine line between getting involved in these conflicts too quickly and soon enough to temper a situation.

Braley said he wants to continue to digest things as they move forward. He said the world is facing a murky situation, without a clear path forward.

Farm Bill

Closer to home, Braley is still unhappy with the majority party in his chamber for passing a Farm Bill that did not include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formerly food stamps).

“A lot of us were shocked when it didn’t pass,” Braley said. He added that there are several Republicans who are also upset at the way the bill was passed. The current Farm Bill expires Sept. 30, and there are only nine legislative days scheduled in Congress between now and then.

Speaker John Boehner told Braley that he does not intend to bring a Farm Bill, that includes SNAP, to the floor unless there was majority support. Braley said he continues to encourage Boehner to bring a bill to the floor, either one from the House or the Senate version.

United States Department of Agriculture data indicate that there were over 46 million people who received SNAP benefits in 2012, at a cost of over $78 billion. In 2007, the year Braley first began to serve in Congress, there were 26.5 million people on SNAP and the cost was $33 billion.

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