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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Jul 3, 2013 1:05 AM Flag

    Farm lobby strikes back against push to split farm bill

    Farm lobby strikes back against push to split farm bill

    By Erik Wasson - 07/02/13 04:31 PM ET

    Farm lobbyists are pushing back heavily against a conservative drive to split off the food stamp and farm subsidy portions of the trillion-dollar farm bill.

    The farm bill failed spectacularly on the House floor late last month because it contained too few food stamp cuts for conservatives and too many for liberals.

    During the current recess, House leaders are polling their members to see if separating the bill would allow a path forward for the farm subsidies bill, a path that is needed by the time the 2008 farm bill expires on Sept. 30.

    On Tuesday, K street fired off a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) opposing that effort. It was signed by 532 national and regional organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union, and major commodity groups such as the National Cotton Council and Southern Peanut Farmers Federation to the National Milk Producers Federation and American Soybean Association.

    “America’s agriculture, conservation, rural development, finance, forestry, energy and crop insurance companies and organizations strongly urge you to bring the Farm Bill (H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013) back to the Floor as soon as possible,” the letter states.

    “It is vital for the House to try once again to bring together a broad coalition of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to provide certainty for farmers, rural America, the environment and our economy in general and pass a five-year farm bill upon returning in July,” it states. “We believe that splitting the nutrition title from the rest of the bill could result in neither farm nor nutrition programs passing, and urge you to move a unified farm bill forward.”

    The letters comes as Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), who is leading the fight to split the bill, expressed increasing confidence in his quest this week. A whip check of

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