Monday, May 21, 2018

Drought gives urgency to farm bill, compromise on food stamp cuts

WASHINGTON — As record drought conditions continue to plague farmers and send corn prices higher, some lawmakers are pressing House leaders to bring the now-stalled farm bill to the floor.

The House Agriculture Committee approved the once-every-five-years legislation this month, but there have been indications that House leaders wouldn't bring the legislation to the floor before the election. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, dislikes key parts of the bill, and many members of his party object to its massive farm subsidies. The bill also cuts $16 billion from food stamp programs, which is sure to rile Democrats.

But as dry weather continues to hurt farmers, some say the bill can't wait. Led by Reps. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., a bipartisan group of 38 Republicans and 24 Democrats sent a letter Thursday urging House leaders to "make this legislation a priority."

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