Congress again fails to pass farm bill

Published 2:01 pm Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The House of Representatives left Washington, D.C., without sending a viable farm bill to the Senate, which means House Speaker John Boehner is going to have a lot of work to do when Congress returns in September.

A new five-year farm bill is needed before the present one expires Sept. 30 unless Congress is willing to abandon a program that provides support to large and small farm operations and food stamps for about 47 million Americans.

Financing food stamps is the sticking point. The Senate has passed a comprehensive farm bill, but House Republicans removed food stamps from their version, the first time that has been done in more than 40 years.

The Senate farm bill already cuts about $5 billion from the food-stamp program, but House leaders are looking to keep the food stamps separate from the rest of the bill and to cut about $20 billion from the program.

This is not the time to be slashing food subsidies, certainly not by 25 percent, which would cause a hardship on millions of people, many of them children.

The (Youngstown) Vindicator