House Faces Farm Bill Delay

A split between Republicans in the House of Representatives over government spending and the federal deficit could delay the farm bill until after the November presidential elections.

Earlier this week, the House Agriculture Committee released a draft of their version of the farm bill. The House bill, which differed significantly from its sister legislation passed last month in the Senate, would significantly cut food stamps funding in order to preserve several farm subsidies. In spite of the massive nutritional cuts, the House bill’s final price tag would be nearly $1 trillion over the next ten years.

With the support of House Agriculture Committee chair Frank Lucas and ranking Ag Committee member Colin Peterson, the bill easily passed out of committee on Thursday. However, rumblings within the House Republican caucus could threaten the final passage of the vital farm legislation.

Earlier this spring, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor released a legislative agenda that did not contain the farm bill debate. When pressed on this exclusion, Speaker of the House John Boehner stated, “No decisions have been made at this point.” Some political insiders believe that the House leadership and key GOP officials are afraid to pass a massive spending bill right before the November election for fear of angering key members of their base. According to the vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, “I don’t think the leadership and many of the freshman Republicans who ran on cutting spending want to pass a nearly trillion-dollar bill this close to an election

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer