Time is quickly running out to write a new $500 billion U.S. farm policy this year and one of the biggest problems facing the four key negotiators on the project is how much to cut spending on food stamps for the poor.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack pushed back on Thursday against efforts by some lawmakers to include provisions to change the controversial country-of-origin labeling rules in a final farm bill, saying the issue is better handled by the World Trade Organization, which is already looking at the issue.
The House of Representatives on Sept. 19 passed a nutrition bill that satisfies conservative demands to cut $39 billion from the food stamp program over 10 years, but it still does not create a clear path toward a conference with the Senate on the farm bill.
The House of Representatives appears poised to vote on a bill to cut $40 billion from the food stamp program over 10 years, possibly creating the ground work for a farm bill conference with the Senate and passage of a bill later this year.
House Republicans are preparing legislation that would cut food stamps by as much as $4 billion annually in an effort to downsize a program that many conservatives say has become too bloated in recent years.
Maybe you thought the lowest possible point of Republican miserliness was reached when Ronald Reagan’s secretary of agriculture proposed that ketchup be counted as a vegetable in the school lunch program.
WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said March 20 he will review how farm groups that reacted negatively to President Barack Obama’s proposed budget cuts in farm programs react to the $30 billion cut over 10 years that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., proposed, while House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said he would be careful about “reading too much” into either Obama or Ryan’s budgets.
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