Splitting the Farm Bill

Into two: one bill for farms, another for food stamps

July 11, 2013

One of the many confusions over the federal Farm Bill has long been the fact that it funds both farms and food stamps. This week, however, the House of Representatives split the bill in two, stripping away the food-stamps program and leaving only farm-relevant funding.

The new farm-only bill passed the House today, with Representatives promising to put together a separate food-stamp bill later. Initial political response ranged from lukewarm (the Senate) to angry (the President). President Obama, in fact, vowed to veto the bill:

“The bill does not contain sufficient commodity and crop insurance reforms and does not invest in renewable energy, an important source of jobs and economic growth in rural communities across the country,” the administration said. “Legislation as important as a Farm Bill should be constructed in a comprehensive approach that helps strengthen all aspects of the nation. This bill also fails to reauthorize nutrition programs, which benefit millions of Americans — in rural, suburban and urban areas alike.”
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