Policy Plate BLOG
Your daily serving of food and farm policy.
Farm Bill Failure
The Washington Post explains why the failure of the House farm bill is not a piece of legislation with many mourners.
The Post writes:
Now, a confluence of forces — the rise of budget-slashing tea party Republicans, a deep recession that has forced nearly one in seven Americans onto the SNAP rolls and, last but not least, a boom in the supposedly struggling farm belt — has upset the old farm bill log-rolling game. This creates new risks, chief among them that the poor’s interests will be sacrificed to those of the powerful agribusiness lobby.
But there are opportunities as well: a chance to really debate this nation’s outmoded and inefficient agriculture policies and maybe, just maybe, reform them.
Politico’s David Rogers writes on why the House failed to pass the farm bill and three ways it can be improved.
Food aid reform is a priority for the White House and lends itself to compromise.
Crop insurance is a second front. The $13 billion amendment failed 208-217, suggesting something smaller might succeed. Forty of the 62 backed the reforms, and this was a case where splits among the conservatives were fatal. The young Republican rebels from South Carolina lined up 3-1 with the crop insurance industry, for example, after all the boasting of deficit cutting.
A third compromise option is to go local. A set of bipartisan amendments designed to promote smaller scale, local agriculture was blocked by the Rules Committee and never got to the floor.
New York Daily News has more on what SNAP cuts mean for hungry families.
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