News

White House threatens veto of farm bill that drops food stamps

White House threatens veto of farm bill that drops food stamps

The White House has threatened to veto a Republican-drafted farm bill. Photo: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House has threatened to veto a Republican-drafted farm bill, scheduled for a vote in the House on Thursday, that expands the taxpayer-subsidized crop insurance program but omits food stamps for the poor.

The farm subsidy bill was unveiled late Wednesday by House Republican leaders, who were embarrassed by the defeat last month of a $500 billion, five-year farm bill that included the largest cuts in food stamps in a generation.

Fiscally conservative Republicans wanted more cuts in farm program and food stamp spending. Leaders said no amendments would be allowed to the new bill, which they hoped to pass before adjourning for the week on Thursday.

Traditionally, farm bills are enacted by a partnership of rural lawmakers interested in agricultural programs and urban supporters of food stamps and other public nutrition programs.

But Republican leaders split the bill in two with the aim of attracting enough votes from their party to pass the farm subsidy portion. A separate food stamps bill would, in theory, come later.

In a statement late on Wednesday, the White House said it would veto the 608-page farm subsidy bill because it “does not contain sufficient commodity and crop insurance reforms” and it omitted food stamps, formally named the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

“This bill … fails to reauthorize nutrition programs, which benefit millions of Americans – in rural, suburban and urban areas alike,” said the White House. “The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a cornerstone of our nation’s food assistance safety net, and should not be left behind as the rest of the Farm Bill advances.”

The farm subsidy bill would cut spending by $14 billion over 10 years, chiefly by ending the $5 billion a year “direct payment” subsidy. It would expand the taxpayer-subsidized crop insurance program by 10 percent, or $9 billion, over 10 years, including a provision that would shield crop revenue from drops of more than 11 percent of average.

“Republicans are determined to de-fund nutrition assistance. Shame on you,” said Congressman G.K. Butterfield, North Carolina Democrat, when the House opened debate for the day.

Recent Headlines

in Weird

Dallas woman accused in illegal butt injections surrenders

Needles

Dallas police say a woman accused of providing illegal buttocks injections has surrendered to authorities.

in Entertainment

‘Downton Abbey’ to end after season six

This photo released by PBS and Carnival Film and Television Limited shows, from left, Lesley Nicol as Mrs. Patmore, and Sophie McShera as Daisy, in a scene from season four of the Masterpiece TV series, "Downton Abbey." As it returns for its much-awaited fourth season, it remains a series about elegance, tradition and gentility, and the pressures of preserving them. The show premieres Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 9 pm ET on PBS.

Producers confirm that the next season of "Downton Abbey" will be the last.

in Sports

Aaron Hernandez trail delayed by bomb threat

Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez listens during a motion regarding jail phone recordings during his murder trial at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass., on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Hernandez is accused in the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd.

A bomb threat has delayed proceedings of the Aaron Hernandez murder trial.

in National, World

Police search house of pilot who crashed A320

Police hold media away from the house where Andreas Lubitz lived in Montabaur, Germany, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Lubitz was the copilot on flight Germanwings 9525 that crashed with 150 people on board on Tuesday in the French Alps. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

The co-pilot of the airliner that crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 people aboard, appears to have brought the plane down deliberately.

in National, World

PHOTOS: Crash of Germanwings Flight 9525

AP41207304817_9

All 150 people on board the jet - including three Americans - were killed Tuesday when it crashed in the French Alps.