Chairman Lucas says looking at the 2012 Farm Bill – the big hang up continues to be the nutrition title of the Farm Bill. “In the draft passed out of the House (Ag Committee) we reformed the food stamp programs to the tune of $16 billion,” he says. “We reformed conservation by $6 billion and we reformed the commodity title by $14 billion.” Lucas noted $20 billion worth of reforms are coming out of 20 percent of the bill. He says, “I think the conservation title and the commodity titles are giving their fair share.”
Congressman Schock told reporters because so few districts are ag dominate – it remains a challenge to make any cuts from the nutrition titles. “We are somewhat held hostage by an overwhelming number of colleagues that don’t have ag dominate districts who are insisting that these food stamp programs be a part of an overall farm bill,” he says. “But, we’re not trying to take any food from any starving mouths in America.”
Schock notes the current policy puts in place automatic coverage for people whether or not they have income levels that would justify it.
The House Ag Committee advanced a bipartisan farm bill last month but leadership has yet to schedule it for debate on the floor.