Boehner Fails Again As Farm Bill Bites The Dust; Cuts Were Too Severe For Democrats
For one thing, it cut so much from the food stamp program that Democrats couldn’t support it.
The Obama administration had said it could not accept the House bill, saying that its $20 billion in cuts to the food stamp program were too severe and that it did not significantly overhaul crop insurance and other farm subsidies.
The House bill would have cut projected spending in farm and nutrition programs by nearly $40 billion over the next 10 years. Just over half, $20.5 billion, would have come from cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. The House bill, like the Senate’s version, would have eliminated $5 billion a year in direct payments to farmers, which are made annually whether or not they grow crops.
Billions of dollars saved by eliminating the payments would be directed into a $9 billion crop insurance program. New subsidies would be created for peanut, cotton and rice farmers. Lawmakers left intact the sugar program, keeping price supports and restrictions on imports.
The nearly $75 billion-a-year food stamp program was the focus of most of the farm bill debate. Democrats, led by Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, said the cuts were too deep, and they introduced an amendment that would restore the money by cutting crop insurance. Lawmakers rejected the amendment by 234 to 188.
“The price of a farm bill should not be making more people hungry in America,” Mr. McGovern said.