Farm bill deal would cut food stamps by 1 percent
Published: January 28, 2014 04:29PM
Updated: January 28, 2014 05:25PM
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FILE - This Dec. 4, 2013 file photo shows Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., left, and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla. on Capitol Hill in Washington. Farm-state lawmakers are pushing for final passage of the massive, five-year farm bill as it heads to the House floor Wednesday — member by member, vote by vote. There are goodies scattered through the bill for members from all regions of the country: a boost in money for crop insurance popular in the Midwest; higher cotton and rice subsidies for Southern farmers; renewal of federal land payments for Western states. There are cuts to the food stamp program — $800 million a year, or around 1 percent — for Republicans who say the program is spending too much money, but they are low enough that some Democrats will support them. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Washington • Farm-state lawmakers are lobbying colleagues member by member, vote by vote as they push for House passage of a massive, five-year farm bill that would make cuts to food stamps and continue generous subsidies for farmers.

There are goodies scattered through the almost 1,000-page bill for members from all regions of the country: a boost in money for crop insurance popular in the Midwest; higher rice and peanut subsidies for Southern farmers; renewal of federal land payments for Western states. There are cuts to the food stamp program — $800 million a year, or around 1 percent — for Republicans who say the program is spending too much money, but they are low enough that some Democrats will support them.

Negotiators on the final deal also left out a repeal of a catfish program that would have angered Mississippi lawmakers and language that would have thwarted a California law requiring all eggs sold in the state to come from hens living in larger cages. Striking out that provision was a priority for California lawmakers.

The House is scheduled to consider the legislation Wednesday. Passage of the bill, which would spend almost $100 billion a year and save around $2.3 billion annually, isn’t certain. But farm-state lawmakers have worked for more than two years to strike just the right balance to get the massive bill passed.