Farm Bill Deal Would Cut Food Stamps By 1 Percent

Source: Mary Clare Jalonick / ABC News

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.

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 who did not want to see the state law changed.

House passage of the farm bill, which would spend almost $100 billion a year and would save around $2.3 billion annually, isn’t certain. But farm-state lawmakers have been working for more than two years to strike just the right balance to get the massive bill passed as congressional compromise has been rare.

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