By Ned Resnikoff
The Republican-controlled House Agriculture Committee on Thursday approved a version of the 2013 farm bill that cuts more than $20 billion in funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over 10 years.
A handful of House Democrats have vowed to oppose the legislation until some of the SNAP funding is restored, as George Zornick reported in The Nation.
“The $20.5 billion cut in SNAP is a poison pill,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., at a Thursday press conference. “It means that we shouldn’t be supporting the farm bill.”
Farm bills are sprawling pieces of legislation that regulate, fund, and subsidize a variety of programs related to farming, agriculture, and food production. In addition to cutting food stamps, this particular bill would cut a certain kind of farming subsidy call direct payments. The bill is expected to reach the House floor for a full vote in June.
WASHINGTON — The White House and senior Republican lawmakers acknowledge they remain far apart on a “grand bargain” fiscal deal to address the defense sequester cuts. But a recurring Washington issue could further complicate striking such a deal: a pending partisan fight over the nation’s borrowing limit.
Some on Capitol Hill expect both chambers will enter contentious talks about whether to raise — or perhaps again temporarily suspend — the nation’s borrowing limit in late summer.
Some analysts say the nation will hit its borrowing limit in August or September.
That would force lawmakers to battle over the debt limit before its annual August recess, set to run from Aug. 3 until after the Labor Day holiday in early September.
That timing could coincide with talks between President Barack Obama and Senate Republicans about the kind of grand bargain needed to lessen or replace the last nine years of the national defense and domestic sequestration cuts.
Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, one of more than a dozen Senate Republicans Obama has been courting in pursuit of a grand bargain, told Defense News in late March that whatever solution the two sides come up with needs to be in place by the time Congress leaves for its August recess.