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Deadline Looms on the Farm Bill

Deadline Looms on the Farm Bill

America still has no Farm Bill as it remains stuck in negotiations between the budget-cutting-minded U.S. House lawmakers and those who want to cut less in the U.S. Senate.

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, who shepherded the bill through her Agriculture Committee, tells WOOD Radio that the philosophical differences appear unyielding. 

The deadline  for agreement, she said, is the end of this month and Stabenow told West Michigan's Morning News Wednesday that "there are very big differences" facing the members of the conference committee trying to resolve versions between the House and Senate.

Stabenow says the 5-year-plan Farm Bill was first introduced and passed by the Senate 3-years ago.  The House passed a bill cutting 20 times from the SNAP "food stamp" program more than Senators were willing to cut. 

While welfare feeding is, by far, the major part of that Farm Bill, the remainder is spending on various farm subsidies.  Since 16-million people depend on Agriculture for their livelihoods in some respect, Stabenow calls it "the biggest jobs bill that we'll pass."

With just two weeks to go, yesterday, the House Agriculture Committee added language to its version  that says a state cannot impose certain production standards on agricultural products sold in interstate commerce. The provision authored by Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa is aimed at a California law that will require all eggs sold in the state to come from hens that inhabit cages in which they can spread their wings.  Other lawmakers suggest that provision could have far-reaching unforeseen consequences.

 

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