What is in this article?:
- House farm bill draft released
- Includes first SNAP reforms
• House draft of new farm bill released.
• Committee chairman says bill would save taxpayers some $40 billion.
The House Agriculture Committee draft of a new farm bill was released late Friday (May 10).
A mark-up of the legislation is set for the morning of May 15.
Read the draft here.
Read the Senate draft here.
(And to see commodity group comments on the Senate draft, see Senate farm bill draft released prior to mark-up).
"I'm pleased to release this bipartisan legislation. … It's a responsible and balanced bill that addresses Americans' concerns about federal spending and reforms farm and nutrition policy to improve efficiency and accountability.
“We will advance our bill in the Committee and then begin preparing for full House consideration this summer,"said Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.
“The discussion draft … released today sets us on a path to finally completing a five-year farm bill,” said Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, ranking member.
“It closely resembles the bipartisan bill passed by the Agriculture Committee last summer, including a common-sense commodity title that will work for all producers, much-needed reforms to dairy programs and continued support for the sugar program.
“The bill also builds on the investments the 2008 farm bill made to fruits and vegetables, farmers markets and local food systems. While I do believe that there are more responsible ways to reform nutrition programs, the bottom line is that this is the first step in the process and it is past time to pass a five-year farm bill.”
Nutrition programs are sure to be a sticking point once the bills reach the reconciliation phase. The Senate draft calls for food stamp cuts about a fifth of the $20 billion that Lucas wants.
The House Agriculture Committee also touted the following in the draft, saying it:
• Saves nearly $40 billion in mandatory funds, including the immediate sequestration of $6 billion;
• Repeals or consolidates more than 100 programs;
• Eliminates direct payments, which farmers received regardless of market conditions;
• Streamlines and reforms commodity policy saving nearly $14 billion while also giving producers a choice in how best to manage risk;