Farm Bill Passage Still Not a SNAP
May 16, 2013
Well here we go again. The Senate and House ag committees have passed their versions of the next farm bill. Sound familiar? While both are significant accomplishments, as we saw last year, this is the easiest part of the farm bill process. While the Senate will probably pass its bill rather quickly, expect a real battle on the House floor. Of course just having that battle is progress over last year. Chairman Lucas and ranking member Peterson face quite a challenge to keep their bill intact as amendments will be coming from all directions. Perhaps the biggest challenge, both on the House floor and in conference committee, will be over cuts in nutrition spending. The Senate ag committee proposes 4 billion in cuts while the House ag committee proposes 20 billion. That's quite a difference. Some want even bigger cuts while others want no cuts at all. For all the debate over dairy reform, crop insurance and target prices, nutrition programs will once again take center stage. Many in agriculture still feel nutrition programs are needed to get a farm bill passed but last year they helped prevent passage. Hopefully this time will be different.