WASHINGTON, D.C. - The 2013 Farm Bill talks between the U.S House and Senate
suffered a setback last week over funding levels for the Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program (SNAP formerly food stamps) and farm subsidies.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.)
said it would be "very challenging” now for him to meet the Republican
leadership’s schedule of having a final agreement back on the House floor by
The House and Senate formed a conference committee in October
to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. Congressmen
Glenn Thompson (R-Centre) and Tom Marino (R-Lycoming) from Pennsylvania
are House conferees, but neither of Pennsylvania's senators are Senate
The House bill cuts $39 billion over 10 years from the
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is
about ten times the cuts suggested in the version passed by the Senate.
Also, the House version is a three year bill rather than the
typical five year farm bill, meaning the agriculture provisions
and SNAP would not be negotiated together moving forward.
The farm bill contains major provisions that would
benefit the green industry, particularly funding for research on new invasive