Democrats and nutritional advocacy groups are worried that major cuts to the food stamps program may be inevitable thanks to the pressures of the fiscal cliff and the rush to pass a new farm bill.
One of the major goals of the House and Senate agriculture committees was major cuts to agricultural spending. The Senate farm bill, passed in May of this year, cut more than $20 billion in the form of major overhauls to farm subsidy programs and moderate cuts to food stamp funding. The House Agriculture Committee’s bill, however, cut more than $30 billion and proposed much deeper cuts to nutritional spending and eligibility.
While many Democrats had hoped to iron out the differences between the House and Senate bills during the reconciliation process (where they hoped to neutralize many of the House nutritional cuts) many are increasingly worried that the Senate will simply accept major food stamp cuts in order to avoid a messy political fallout.
Part of the Democrat’s motivation is a fear that they might be blamed for holding up the farm bill. Many voters in the recent election blamed Republicans for delaying and obstructing the farm bill, and many House Republican candidates, particularly the GOP’s Senate nominees in Montana and North Dakota, paid the price for Republican obstructionism. Democrats are worried that if they hold up the farm bill or a compromise on the fiscal cliff, that voters may turn on them i the next election.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer