House and Senate Farm Bill Versions Less Different than they Seem

Jason Evans
Jason Evans

The continuing congressional standoff over the 2013 Farm Bill and Speaker Boehner’s insinuation of yet another extension of 2008 legislation suggests that the House and Senate versions currently being weighed by conference committee are vastly different. The truth is, the bills are a little less than $40 billion apart.  While this seems a significant amount of money, the chasm in spending is spread across ten years and is part of an overall policy that will ultimately cost $1 trillion.  In short, it is a “drop in the bucket.”

A quick read of the two Farm Bill versions suggests that most provisions on which the two chambers differ should easily lend themselves to compromise including basic price and revenue protection for farmers, dairy support and conservation.  It seems that the primary culprit in the stalemate between Democrats and Republicans is the expensive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or “food stamps”).  Essentially, the House’s version of the bill adds stricter eligibility requirements for the program and formally supports state-level implementation of work requirements for SNAP benefit recipients.  Given the political importance of the SNAP program ultimately to all members of Congress, debate here is no surprise.  However, the common bicameral objectives of making SNAP more effective, mitigating fraud and truly assisting food-insecure households should facilitate debate that is focused and full of compromise.  Without it, the year-long uncertainty over law of critical importance to American agriculturalists will persist.

More News

The Leubner sisters (including a #CobyAlum) are using social media to connect with and educate a younger generation of could-be farmers.

https://t.co/c2DhBMZNNu
Through a grant received by @crcsdistrict, middle school students took part in a week-long “Agricultural Mechanics and Equipment” course, learning the basics of operating and repairing heavy farm equipment under the instruction of our Ag Engineering dept.
https://t.co/v4sb6WEPk8 https://t.co/w1O2mrNlfa
SUNYCobleskill photo
The agreement will give students in our Histotechnician Associate’s program the opportunity to complete their clinical training at one of the world's leading cancer research centers - @MSKCancerCenter. #CobyTechnology

Full article: https://t.co/Amb27Rt6Pe https://t.co/rdBTg8FCFD
SUNYCobleskill photo
Nothing breaks the ice like beautiful sunshine for our first #orientation of the summer. #SUNY https://t.co/pu5dR7zbt1 SUNYCobleskill photo
Congratulations to our competitors, Michael Fasanella and Nicholas Kimball, for an excellent showing at this year's National Collegiate Landscape Competition! #CobyAgriculture

https://t.co/9SReKEJyto
Skip to content