Posted August 15, 2013

The CEO of the conservative Heritage Action organization, Michael Needham, has called for a one-year extension of the existing farm bill, according to The Hill. 

According to The Hill article, Heritage Action “played an influential role in defeating a $940 billion farm bill this summer and in getting House leaders to strip out food stamp funding from a farm bill that later passed” the House in July.  In an interview with C-SPAN’s Newsmakers, Needham stated that the extension could give his group more time to meet with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK). 

House leaders are now drafting a new “food stamp bill with $40 billion in cuts over 10 years, twice the cuts made in the failed farm bill.”  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (commonly referred to as “food stamps”) has been a contentious issue in Congress.  Needham’s comments “signal that his group could oppose” the effort to separate SNAP benefits from the remainder of the farm bill in the House.

Needham also “admonished the GOP for failing to get rid of corporate farm subsidies.”  While both Senate and House versions of the farm bill eliminate direct payments, a one-year extension would keep those payments in place. 

The current farm bill will expire on September 30.  For more information on recent farm bill developments, recent blog articles are available hereand here.  For more information about farm bills, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center website here, including its Farm Bills page and a free-of-charge database of Congressional Research Service Reports.  Another excellent resource for daily updates on the farm bill is Farmpolicy.com, available here.

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