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Indiana’s Congressional Members Reignite Farm Bill Debate

Legislators have largely agreed to cut back on direct payments to farmers, but they disagree on whether to cut food stamps.

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Photo: Cindy Cornett Seigle (flickr)

The federal government paid Indiana farms $1.1 billion last year in crop insurance.

Congressional negotiations on a new farm bill begin today, and some Hoosiers in Congress are lobbying for what they want to see.

Both the House and Senate passed bills to trim spending on food stamps by tightening eligibility and work requirements.

But the House‘s cuts of $4 billion a year are ten times deeper than the Senate‘s.

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, says there is bipartisan agreement to end direct payments to farmers.

“We have greater demand throughout the world today for American farmer’s products than we’ve ever had and that demand is only going to grow,” Stutzman said. “I think as farmers have access to markets it increases not only productivity but also it increases revenue.”

But despite agreement over the direct payments portion of the bill, Senator Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, says there are still significant differences over food stamps.

“Will the House’ cuts cut so deep, that parents are thrown off of SNAP, and when they are children are no longer eligible for food support programs and so those are my primary areas of concern,” Donnelly said.

Stutzman led a push to separate food stamps from the farm bill, and is circulating a letter urging negotiators to keep it that way.

Network Indiana

Network Indiana Indiana's Only Audio News Network. Network Indiana is dedicated to providing the state of Indiana important and useful information.

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