Farm Bill Could be Incorporated into Larger Budget Measure

With congress in recess until after Labor Day, chatter on the farm bill has died down, but that doesn’t mean it’s been forgotten. If there’s a farm bill in Congress’ future – some say it could come as part of negotiations to keep the government funded past September 30th and the end of the fiscal year. One of those is American Soybean Association President Danny Murphy.

Murphy’s preference – and that of other farm groups – is for the House GOP to just get to conference with the Senate – even if that means passing a 10-year, 40-billion dollar food stamp cut. The only problem – a compromise closer to the Senate-passed 4-billion cut is unlikely to get back through the House – where conservatives killed a complete farm bill in June with 20-billion in cuts before passing a farm-only bill. And that’s where Murphy thinks a continuing budget resolution to keep the government funded might come into play…

“With the House Republicans at $40 billion, I guess you speculate on how they might try to accomplish that. One of the alternatives is that they might end up using the debt limit negotiations to force some larger cuts into SNAP than would otherwise be possible.”

Murphy fears the farm bill could get short shrift in a budget resolution – but it may be the only way House Republicans with a weaker hand in direct farm bill talks with the Senate can get closer to the cuts they want…

“Certainly the whole farm bill could be included in that CR process. There are some savings in the $25-30 billion range in the farm bills that came out of both the House and Senate, so it might be possible.”

More than 200 Democrats wrote to House Speaker John Boehner this week – urging that food stamp cuts be restored in any final farm bill.


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