Industry News

Senate passes 2013 Farm Bill; House vote is less sure

June 14, 2013

The U.S. Senate passed the farm bill with overwhelming bipartisan support, 66-27. The bill finances programs as diverse as crop insurance for farmers, food assistance for low-income families and foreign food aid. The Senate passed a similar bill last year, but the House failed to bring the bill to a vote. The last farm bill that was passed by both chambers, in 2008, was extended until Sept. 30. The Senate version of the bill does not include sugar reform.

“The Senate voted to support 16 million American jobs, to save taxpayers billions and to implement the most significant reforms to agriculture programs in decades,” states Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. She was a co-author of the bill with Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), the ranking Republican on the committee.

The Senate bill would cut $24 billion from current spending levels, including about $4.1 billion from food stamps, over the next 10 years. Groups fighting hunger said the cuts in food stamps would put millions of poor families at risk. A House version of the bill would provide for food stamp cuts of $20 billion, just one example of how far apart the two houses are in adjusting spending.

But the bill faces a much tougher reception in the House. Last year, conservative lawmakers helped kill the bill because of their desire for deeper cuts in the food stamp program, which serves about 45 million Americans.

Conservation programs that help protect farmland and waters would be cut by about $3.5 billion in the Senate bill, with additional reductions coming from the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester.

The most critical revision would be the elimination of about $5 billion a year in direct payments to farmers and farmland owners, whether or not they grew crops. Eliminating the age-old program would make the highly subsidized crop insurance program the primary safety net when crop prices drop.

Hoping to satisfy conservatives, the House Agriculture Committee recently increased the amount of cuts to the program to the $20-billion mark over the next 10 years, up from $16 billion in last year’s bill. In a statement before the Senate vote,House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-OH) said the House would begin work on its version of the farm bill this month.

Agriculture generally praised the bill. Environmental groups say it included some important changes but mention that it falls short because it would expand crop insurance subsidies and price guarantees for the largest and most successful farmers, while cutting nutrition and conservation programs.

Source: www.nytimes.com, Independent Bakers Association

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery Magazine 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Blue Diamond Almonds Facility

Blue Diamond Almond’s new  processing facility in Turlock, CA.

11/7/13 2:00 pm EST

Food Plant of the Future: The Future of Wastewater Management

Available On-Demand Effective management of wastewater is becoming increasingly critical to food and beverage processors as the cost for incoming water increases...

Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery Magazine

Cover Image

2014 August

This month's publication of Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery takes a special look at Blue Diamond's growers and advanced technology, as well as a tour through the Blue Diamond production plant in Turlock, CA.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

School Lunches

Millions of children will soon be returning to school, lunchboxes in hand. What was your favorite lunchbox treat when you were a kid?
View Results Poll Archive

THE SNACK AND BAKERY STORE

organic-production-&-food-q.gif
Organic Production and Food Quality: A Down to Earth Analysis

Effects of Organic Production on Food Quality is the first comprehensive book on how organic production methods influence the safety and quality of foods, based on an unbiased assessment of the latest scientific findings.  The title is a 'must-have' for everyone working within the food industry.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

The Weekly Mix

Operations Weekly Logo

Written by Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery editors, our Operations Weekly weekly enewsletter provides bakers and snack food manufacturers with up-to-the-minute news, ideas and industry trends.

Sign up today!

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook IconTwitter IconYoutube IconLinkedIn Icon