Farm bill ends subsidies, cuts food stamps

FOODSTAMP

By, Jennifer Liberto (CNN)

A group of bipartisan lawmakers on Monday agreed to a deal on a farm bill that would end direct subsidies to farms in favor of crop insurance.

The deal could trim as much as $90 a month from food stamps for 850,000 recipients.

The farm bill would last five years and needs to pass both chambers and then be signed by the president.

The bill could be passed before the spring planting season. That’s significant because farmers need to know early how it might affect prices and what to expect for their corn, wheat or tobacco yields.

The bill changes the current agricultural subsidy system. It ends direct payments to farmers for planting crops and replaces it with a revamped, beefed-up crop insurance program.

“Today’s bipartisan agreement puts us on the verge of enacting a five-year Farm Bill that saves taxpayers billions, eliminates unnecessary subsidies, creates a more effective farm safety-net and helps farmers and businesses create jobs,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat who chairs the Senate agriculture panel.

The changes to food stamps would trim $8 billion from the program over the next 10 years, according to congressional aides. That’s less than the $39 billion that Republicans had wanted to cut from the program, but double what Democrats had suggested.

Lawmakers say the deal will prevent 17 states from doling out more generous food stamps to people who get federal help to heat or cool their homes, even if the help is as little as $1. They stress the move won’t cut families from food stamps, it will just shrink the amount some families get.

Advocates for the poor are irate. The newly-proposed reductions come just months after the $11 cut from food stamp checks that went into effect on Nov. 1, when the recession-era boost in funding ended.

Since then, food pantries have reported larger crowds, as families exhaust their allotment before the month ends.

Currently, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the official name for food stamps, feeds 47 million people.

Meanwhile, the bill ensures that the federal government will avoid re-implementing a 1940s era subsidy program that could have caused the price of milk to double to $7 a gallon from the current national average of $3.50.

6 comments

  • kidsneedtogrowup

    What is $8 billion saved when we spend trillion's????? That is like 8 cents on the dollar, that is nothing and over 10 years, c'mon….. What they need to do is drug test all people that receive assistance, use the $8 billion to pay for the tests. Then with the people that fail the drug test, you will make the other $31 billion that the republicans wanted. Then if you want to cut even more, and by god, maybe lower the price of gas, start cracking down on the people that abuse the system.

    • kidsneedtogrowup

      I HATE going to the store and im picking up generic everything and can't even afford to by meat but the person or persons in front of me have two carts full, all name brand stuff, full of meat, no kids in sight, and there deciding if they have enough money on their card to treat themselves to a bag of crab legs (true story). What happened to when you were on food stamps that you could only by generic and only the absolute essentials and you made them last????????? That is where the money needs to be spent and taken back from. There is still trhee classes of people now-a-days but there different than before. Now they are the rich, the poor, and the really poor. There is no more middle class….. Just my thoughts.

  • MyTakeOnIt

    It's sad that a gallon of milk really costs $7 and the government pays half of it. Milk offers limited value to human diets but more detriment. The government subsidizes it yet only half of the people consume it (as milk).

  • The Opinionated One

    Folks need to realize that farming is an iffy profession. Depends on the weather, food for animals necessary to make a living, health of those animals, and a heck of a lot of hard work. Most family farms are barely scraping by. It is the big corporate farms that are raking in the dough. We all need to realize that the food on the shelves in our supermarkets does not just magically appear, a lot of farmers made that happen with hard work, and little pay. Our politicians need to trim the fat from their budget, but this is not the place to start. Do we want to see all our foods imported from other countries? I certainly don't!!! As for the food stamp issue, I remember back in the day, I couldn't afford disposable diapers, but a woman in front of me in the supermarket could afford them with her food stamps. The reciepients of food stamps should only be allowed to buy the basic necessities and staples to survive. Crab legs are not in the basic food group.

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