Farm Bill Committees Considering Subsidy Reform

The joint congressional farm bill committee is currently discussing farm subsidy reforms, a controversial topic that has the potential to derail any agreement between House and Senate conference members.
For more than a year, the farm bill has been stalled in Congress. While the 2013 bill has progressed farther than its 2012 counterpart, House Republicans’ insistence on stripping food stamps from farm legislation (and their effort to cut more than $40 billion in nutritional subsidies) is unlikely to garner much support in the Democratic controlled Senate.
In addition to food stamps, the conferral committee is debating the future of farm subsidies. The Senate farm bill included language that would toughen up subsidy rules in an effort to prevent CEOs and individuals not involved in farming from receiving farm subsidies
Already, members of the conferral committee are criticizing their colleagues. “I don’t understand how anyone can promote closing loopholes for food stamps,” said Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley of House Republicans, “if they also don’t support closing the loopholes non-farmers – many of whom have significant income – are using.”
The subsidy fight, along with the food stamps battle, could derail the entire farm bill (which needs to be completed by mid December). “The farm bill conference is not going well, I understand,” said Steny Hoyer, the number two Democrat in the House of Representatives.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer