Republicans Looking to Split Farm Bill

In the wake of the farm bill’s defeat in the House, representatives on both sides of the aisle are looking at ways to get farm legislation through an increasingly partisan Congress. One of the solutions currently being floated by Republicans would split the farm bill and food stamps funding.
The farm bill crisis, both this year and last year, essentially revolved around food stamps and nutritional funding. Last summer, Speaker of the House John Boehner was reluctant to bring a major spending bill before the House in an election year. The recent farm bill defeat was the result of Democrats upset with nutritional cuts voting alongside Republicans upset at continued federal spending.
After the defeat, some House Republicans are suggesting separating food stamps from the farm bill. According to Indiana Republican Marlin Stutzman, “I have a lot of folks who were ‘no’ votes that told me they would support the farm bill if it was separated.”
Some farmers are worried by the potential separation. As it stands, urban representatives have incentives to continue supporting the farm bill. Without food stamps and other universal concerns, non-rural politicians may have little interest in supporting farm legislation. With rural populations continuing to shrink, reducing the power of farm coalitions could make it difficult to pass future farm bills.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer