Food Stamps Remain Farm Bill Obstacle

Food Stamps funding remains a major obstacle in passing a new farm bill through both houses of Congress, political insiders reported earlier this week.

While the farm bill may have been tantalizingly close to passing earlier this summer, congressional politics prevented a full floor vote. While many farmers are still hoping that a new bill can be passed before the end of the legislative session, it is becoming increasingly clear that disagreements over food stamps may keep the farm bill from passing out of Congress and to the White House.

The Senate version of the farm bill cuts nearly $23 billion of agricultural spending, with much of that consisting of reduced subsidy payments. Of that $23 billion, $4 billion consist of cuts to food stamp funding over a ten-year period.

The draft of the House bill similarly seeks to cut significant amounts of farm spending. However, their bill quadruples food stamp cuts to $16 billion over a ten-year period.

While it might be premature to discuss reconciling the Senate bill with a hypothetical House bill, Democratic Senators are already hinting that they will not tolerate additional cuts to federal nutritional programs.

With both parties digging in their heels, it’s not clear how a farm bill reach a congressional compromise, even if it did soar through the House in the lame duck session.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer