- A proposed $40 billion cut to nutrition programs from the U.S. House of Representatives creates a bigger obstacle to farm bill passage.
With claims that Republicans in the House of Representatives are not interested in actually passing a farm bill following the House’s latest proposal that would cut $40 billion from the nutrition title, Senate and House Democrats have expressed their growing concerns about enacting farm legislation before the Sept. 30 deadline.
They also cast some doubt on the likelihood of extending current law and maintaining “subsidies that everyone believes are a waste of taxpayer money.”
Debbie Stabenow, Senate Agriculture Committee chairwoman, said the farm bill would be a significant jobs bill and critical for rural America.
In a Thursday afternoon press call, Stabenow – who termed the House nutrition program proposals “appalling” -- placed the blame squarely on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. “He doesn’t want a farm bill. He’s made that clear from the beginning with everything he’s done.”
She labeled the situation “a ticking time-bomb waiting to go off. It makes no sense. We ought to care about the 16 million people that work in rural America in agriculture and the food industry. Rural America is very important. The biggest jobs bill we will pass this year, or next, will be the farm bill.”
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Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, also weighed in with pointed criticism for the house action. “There they go again. Apparently, the Republican leadership plans to bring up yet another political messaging bill to nowhere in an effort to try and placate the extreme right wing of their party. Clearly they have no interest in compromise or actual legislating.”
For more details on the new proposal, read David Bennett’s latest update on the ongoing farm bill debate.