Farm Bill on the Move in Congress

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House Agriculture Committee has approved a sweeping farm bill that would trim the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program.

The panel approved the bill 46-10 late Wednesday after rebuffing Democratic efforts to keep the food stamp program whole.

The legislation would cut about $2.5 billion a year -- or a little more than 3 percent -- from the domestic food aid program, which is used by 1 in 7 Americans.

The cuts are part of massive legislation that costs almost $100 billion annually over five years and would set policy for farm subsidies, rural programs and the food aid.

The Senate Agriculture Committee approved its version of the bill Tuesday.

The two chambers are far apart on how much the $80 billion-a-year program should be cut, however -- reflecting a deep ideological divide on the role of government in helping the poor.

Resolving those differences will be key to passing the massive five-year farm bill that lawmakers are attempting to push through for a third consecutive year, after failing the last two.

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