Wed June 19, 2013
MO Congressmen Speak Out On Farm Bill
Members of Missouri's Congressional delegation are weighing in on the U.S. House version of the Farm Bill, which could be voted on before week's end.
Democrats, including St. Louis Congressman William Lacy Clay, say the GOP-backed bill goes too far.
Clay calls the cuts "outrageous."
"The savings achieved are small when compared to the great human suffering this change would cause," Clay says. "This is targeting the least among us."
Clay says ending subsidies on sugar, corn and other crops would be a better way to save money on agriculture costs.
Republican Blaine Luetkemeyer from east central Missouri says, though, that food stamps still make up 80 percent of the bill, even though it would cut funding for food stamps by just over $20 billion.
"Quite frankly, there's nobody that's getting food stamps now that will not get them, that deserves to get them, with the cuts that we're making," Luetkemeyer says.
"Basically what we're doing is going back to making sure that people, because of their assets and their income, actually qualify for the program."
Luetkemeyer says it would also do away with direct payments to farmers while using insurance as a safety net.
President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the House version of the farm bill if it makes it to his desk.
A vote by the U.S. House could come as early as Thursday afternoon.
Harvest Public Media