The bill will likely include cuts to direct commodity payments, conservation and nutrition plans. Lobbyists for agribusiness like the National Corn Growers Association and the American Soybean Association are pushing for Congress to cease direct payments in favor of improved crop insurance, which the Associated Press reports is pitting farmers in the south, who grow crops like cotton that benefit from direct payments, against those in other parts of the country.
One lobbyist described the relationship between lobbyists and congressional aides as “free-flowing and open,” Gannett reports.
The bill, if taken up by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction will be forced into an up-down vote, with no amendments to the legislation being possible. That’s drawing alarm from groups critical of farm subsidies, Gannett reports.
“Given the amount of money involved, and given the implications of the farm bill for our food and the quality of our environment, there’s a lot of folks in Congress that ought to have a voice in where this ends up other than the agriculture committees,” said Craig Cox, senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the Associated Press Monday that the administration wanted the farm bill to increase disaster aid, following a difficult season for farmers.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment