The New York Times reports that the House Agriculture Committee voted to pass its version of a new farm bill that cuts $12 billion more from “SNAP” than a Senate bill passed last month and adds several new crop insurance and price support programs to protect farmers during natural disasters or when prices fall. The bill passed early this morning.
The House bill, which passed 35 to 11, would reduce food and nutrition spending by more than $35 billion, mainly by cutting about $16.5 billion from the SNAP program. The Senate bill only cut about $23 billion in spending, with $4.5 billion in savings coming from food stamps. About 80 percent of farm bill spending goes to SNAP.
“Today marked an important step forward in the development of the next farm bill,” said Representative Frank D. Lucas, Republican of Oklahoma and chairman of the House agriculture committee. “This is a balanced, reform-minded, fiscally responsible bill that underscores our commitment to production agriculture and rural America, achieves real savings and improves program efficiency.”
According to the article, “several obstacles stand in the way of getting a farm bill to the full House and passed before the election: a short legislative calendar to get work done, fundamental differences between House and Senate versions of the bill and pressure from conservatives for greater cuts in government spending over the objections of liberal lawmakers.”
The House and Senate must reach a compromise before Sept. 30, when the current five-year farm bill, passed in 2008, expires.
To read the full New York Times report, click here.
For more on the 2012 Farm Bill from the House Agriculture Committee, click here.
This article posted July 12, 2012.