Cantor Plans Separate Food Stamp, Farm Bills

by Will Allen

David Rogers of Politico reports that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) is planning to divide the moribund farm bill into two separate proposals: a bill that deals only with federal nutrition programs, and another bill covering the rest of the appropriations and price-support programs that comprise federal farm policy. The previous House farm bill was defeated last Thursday by a mixture of Democrats, who decried the bill’s $20 billion reduction in food-stamp spending, and conservative Republicans, who believed that the bill did not cut food stamps enough. 

The plan being contemplated by Cantor closely tracks an earlier proposal by Indiana Republican Marlin Stutzman. In a press release issued last week, Stutzman pointed out that “Eighty percent of the spending goes toward food stamps” in the original farm bill. He called on the House to “do our work in the full light of day by splitting this bill and having serious debates on both farm and welfare policy.”

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly attributed Representative Stutzman’s proposal to Representative Louie Gohmert (R., Texas). The item has since been amended.

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