US Rep. Davis Defends House Farm Bill
By Sean Powers, with additional reporting from Illinois Public Radio
Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) says President Obama is premature in threatening to veto the House’s version of the farm bill.
The White House said $2 billion in annual cuts to the food stamp program in the House’s plan goes too far, and will leave some Americans hungry. Meanwhile, the Senate bill looks at cutting the food stamp program, known as SNAP, by about $400 million a year.
Davis said before the White House has any say, both measures should go to a conference committee, where lawmakers can hammer out a final plan.
“You’ve got to remember that the SNAP program has grown immensely since 2008 and 2009, and a lot of that’s attributable to the fact that we haven’t had a good economy,” Davis said. “People can’t get jobs, and we need to make sure that we are able to get the benefits to those who need them the most.”
The White House also said the House’s plan should make deeper cuts to farm subsidies like crop insurance. Davis said farmers are more than paying their share, since the $40 billion is split evenly although SNAP makes up 80 percent of the spending.
"Both sides are taking equal cuts, so our farmers and our ag industry have taken $20 billion in cuts too just like the SNAP side and they're only 20 percent of the bill,” Davis said. “Our farmers have paid the price. Our farmers have given up direct payments to attack our national debt and that's why this bill is so crucial to passing."
The Senate has already approved its version of the farm bill, and the House is expected to vote on its plan this week.