One of the hold ups in passing a new federal farm bill is agreeing on the size of cuts to the food stamp program. The House version has far deeper cuts than the Senate proposal. 13th District Republican candidate Rodney Davis says aggressive tracking of purchases by poor people under the program is important.
But, Democrat David Gill says the more than $16 billion in house proposed cuts is too steep and would devastate families.
Gill says the house cuts are "not who we are as a people." The food stamp program makes up 80% of the farm bill. Gill and Davis also say renewing crop insurance provisions is a crucial part of the safety network for agricultural producers in this drought year. Gill says he agrees with a Senate Amendment to means test insurance rates.
Gill says that would affect very few farmers in the 13th district. Davis says he favors the higher levels of crop insurance coverage in the senate version of the bill and that it's important to offer financial protection to all farmers so they can have financial protection.
Both candidates call for passage of a farm bill yet this year. If Congress does not pass a farm bill by the end of September, outdated 1940s legislation reverts to law. Both Davis and Gill say they also favor normalization of trade relations with Cuba to open that country to U-S farmers.
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