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Farm Bill progress not promising

Updated: Thursday, December 19 2013, 11:04 AM CST

WICHITA, Kansas - While the House plans to vote on a short term extension to carry over till a permanent bill can be reached next session, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that's not an option.

The most immediate impact of the expiration of the current farm bill could be sky-high milk prices.
 
The new farm bill comes down to a compromise in Congress, with yet another deadline.
 
Eighty percent of the bill hedges on SNAP benefits, or food stamps and that's where both sides differ on what should be done.
 
The farm bill itself is a complicated piece of legislation, with lots of different parts that affect different areas of the country - well, differently.
 
"Within the farm bill, there are many titles and because agriculture is so diverse each section of the country has very different ideas of what needs to be in those titles," explains KSN's Ag Expert John Jenkinson.
 
Crop insurance, conservation, the direct payment program and perhaps the biggest item of contention: the food stamp title.
 
"We have 40 million people on food stamps. They want work, not a government handout," says Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo.
 
Both the House and the Senate have passed their own versions of the bill, but those two versions are different.
 
"The House would like to see $40 billion of cuts over 10 years, the Senate at $4 billion, they have arrived at a compromise number, but whether the president will sign it remains to be seen," says Jenkinson.
 
Regardless whether Congress votes for a farm bill extension, Congressman Mike Pompeo is confident permanent legislation will be reached after the first of the year.
 
"The consumer won't see much difference but over time the consumer could see expensive milk because we'd be reverting to 1940s era law," says Jenkinson.
 
Pompeo adds, " It's not about republicans or democrats, it's about policy not politics."
 
One title change that's the same on both versions of the proposed farm bill is direct payments, or payments from the government to support farm income.
 
Both versions have cut out those payments going forward.
Farm Bill progress not promising


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