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USDA chief criticizes house GOP farm bill over nutrition cuts

USDA chief criticizes house GOP farm bill over nutrition cuts

By Jamie Martin

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack raised serious concerns regarding the House GOP's farm bill draft. He emphasized potential damage to the traditional coalition supporting farm bills and warned of obstacles to passing the legislation.

The upcoming markup of the five-year farm bill in the House Agriculture Committee has drawn attention due to proposed nutrition cuts and disagreements over key programs. Vilsack expressed frustration over delays in the bill's progress and criticized the proposed legislation for its potential to hinder passage.

Of particular concern are provisions that would reduce spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), impacting millions of low-income families. Vilsack highlighted the detrimental effects of these cuts on the coalition necessary for the bill's passage.

Additionally, Vilsack criticized a section of the bill related to the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), which he believes would limit USDA's ability to respond to natural disasters affecting farmers. He expressed preference for a farm bill proposal from Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow, describing it as more practical.

In response, House Agriculture Committee Chair Glenn "GT" Thompson defended the bill, emphasizing its investments in agriculture and efforts to control spending. He pushed back against criticisms, stating the bill's focus on bipartisan priorities.

Despite differing viewpoints, the farm bill remains a critical piece of legislation with far-reaching implications for agriculture and nutrition programs. The ongoing debate underscores the challenges of balancing diverse interests in crafting agricultural policy.

Categories: National

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