Ag chair says she's open to more food stamp cuts
The Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee says she is willing to consider higher cuts to the food stamp program in an effort to include a massive five-year farm bill in negotiations on the so-called fiscal cliff.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said that cuts to the food stamp program beyond the $4 billion over 10 years included in a Senate-passed farm bill "are something I am willing to talk about." A farm bill passed by the House Agriculture Committee would include $16 billion in cuts over the same amount of time.
Both amounts are relatively small in relation to the program's total estimated cost - almost $800 billion over the next decade - but Stabenow's willingness to move on an issue long sacred to Democrats shows progress in negotiations as farm-state leaders scramble to get the bill done before the end of the year. Stabenow and House Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., met this week in hopes of reconciling their two versions of the bill.
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