Niagara Gazette

Local News

June 11, 2013

Senate passes farm bill, moving debate to House

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — The Senate bill would cut the food stamp program, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, by about $400 million a year, or half a percent, and Senate Democrats have been reluctant to cut more. The farm bill approved by the House Agriculture Committee last month would cut the program by $2 billion a year, or a little more than 3 percent, and make it more difficult for some people to qualify.

In his statement Monday, Boehner signaled support for the House bill's level of food stamp cuts, saying they are changes that "both parties know are necessary." Other Republicans are expected to offer amendments to expand the cuts, setting up a potentially even more difficult resolution with the Senate version. At the same time, Democrats are expected to try and eliminate the cuts.

Food stamps were added to the farm bill decades ago to gain urban votes for the rural measure, which sets policy for farm subsidies, programs to protect environmentally sensitive land and other rural development projects. But with the program's exponential growth during the recent economic downturn, food stamps are now making passage harder.

"I expect it to come from all directions," House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said last month, acknowledging the complications of moving the bill through his chamber.

On the Senate floor, senators rejected amendments on food stamp cuts, preserving the $400 million annual decrease. The bill's farm-state supporters also fended off efforts to cut sugar, tobacco and other farm supports.

Senators looking to pare back subsidies did win one victory in the Senate, an amendment to reduce the government's share of crop insurance premiums for farmers with adjusted gross incomes of more than $750,000. Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said their amendment would affect about 20,000 farmers.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results