A farm bill in congress would save $23 billion in cuts, but could get bogged down with more than a hundred amendments. The fiscal note on the bill is nearly $1 trillion.
President Obama talked to Tom Steever with our Brownfield Network about the bill, saying it should receive broad support since it cuts spending, keeps federal agencies from over-involvement and provides a safety net for farmers. He hopes that it can be passed before time runs out, which is in late October.
Senator McCaskill says she hopes lawmakers can work with their colleagues across the aisle to pass the bill and not get caught up playing politics in a war with amendments.
“It is very important we don’t play political games with the farm bill and all come behind the farm bill,” she said.
The bill would make cuts to the federal food stamp program, conservation and direct payment programs for farmers. McCaskill says part of that would prevent wealthy farmers from receiving government subsidies. The legislation would expand crop insurance and a safety net for dairy farmers, who are hurting from rapidly fluctuating prices on milk.
Obama says the farm bill should provide timely certainty for rural America, including needed reforms in budget savings, and among other things, should maintain the U.S. status in global commerce. Where food assistance is concerned, the President tells Brownfield the Senate farm bill’s $800 billion to be spent over the next decade will help needy families put food on the table and will benefit the farm economy.
Representatives of three farm interest groups joined McCaskill in expressing support for the bill, including the Missouri Corn Growers Association, the Missouri Soybean Board, and the Missouri Dairy Association.
An important provision McCaskill is supporting would limit federal agencies’ ability to regulate farm policy, whether it be dust generation or child labor standards.