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PLNA e-News: Protecting Values In the Nation

Farm Bill Talks Stumble over Food Stamp Issue

Tuesday, November 26, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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NurseryWASHINGTON, 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 Dec. 13.

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 conferees.  

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 pests.

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