Farm bill faces political struggles

Farm Bill CartoonHouse Republicans are reportedly stalling on drafting a farm bill that has a chance of passing the Senate and President Obama’s approval. More so, a bill has to be passed by September 30, or the policies will fall back the farm policy of 1949. Milk prices would reportedly double.

What the House has presented is a farm bill that narrowly passed with 12 Republicans and all the Democrats voting against the measure. The controversial part of the bill is that it does not include fund for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. Half of SNAP recipients are children.

The Senate passed its version of the 2013 farm bill in June. The Democrat controlled Senate is unlikely to create another bill that even closely aligns the House’s version. Obama has already stated that he would veto a bill that guts SNAP.

The last farm bill was passed in 2008. It is yet to be seen whether Republicans can protect the interests of Americans concerned over government spending while Democrats also ensure that SNAP can continue to address the needs of the poorest Americans.