How The Farm Bill Failed (POLITICO, June 23, 2013). Welfare was at the heart of the debate over the latest farm bill that inevitably failed. Generally, Republicans like to see welfare cuts and Democrats support added benefits. Compromise about the farm bill was hard to reach in part due to a rather radical bill amendment by Steve Southerland (R-Fla.). This would enact welfare reforms that would give states half of any savings that resulted from cutting food stamps, which progressives say “would shift SNAP’s basic purpose from feeding hungry people to lining state coffers.
Growing Pains: The Farm Bill’s Failure (Economist, June 21, 2013). “Why has the farm bill become so politically indigestible in the House?” Bi-partisan disputes over the budget deficit seem to be the main concern—primarily regarding funds to food stamps. Ultimately what killed the bill were two amendments that simply asked too much and lost many Democratic votes.
Opposition To House Farm Bill Spans Political Spectrum (NY Times, June 17, 2013). Both red and blue advocacy groups are lining up in opposition to the House Farm Bill. They stress that the current bill benefits wealthy corporate farmers and insurance subsidies that fail to guarantee farmers’ income.
Senate passes half-trillion dollar farm bill that would cut some subsidies, expand others (AP, Washington Post, June 10, 2013). The senate issued a crop insurance expansion to boost subsidies for Southern rice and peanut farmers. The bill further benefits Midwestern corn and soybean growers, who receive more subsidies than other farmers. Critics say, “the bill would subsidize large corporate farms when farm country is in the middle of an economic boom.”