(WASHINGTON) — House and Senate negotiators announced Monday night that they have struck a final bipartisan agreement on a five-year farm bill, scoring about $23 billion in total deficit reduction over a 10-year window.
The five-year bill is scored over a 10-year period by the CBO, but is expected to cut about $8.5 billion worth of SNAP benefits over 10 years — far less than the GOP sought (nearly $40 billion over 10 years), but double what the Democratic-led Senate had approved in its own bill last year. Additionally, the bill makes about $25 billion in additional cuts, while adding about $10 billion in new investments for risk management and other initiatives to help farmers create agriculture jobs in crop insurance, research, promoting exports, support for specialty crops, bio-manufacturing, bio-energy, horticulture and rural development.
According to an aide close to the negotiations:
House Speaker John Boehner called the agreement “a positive step in the right direction” and indicated he would vote for it.
“While I hoped many of these reforms would go further, the status quo is simply unacceptable,” Boehner, R-Ohio, stated. “I have voted against the last two farm bills because, in my view, they made farm and food stamp policy worse rather than better. This legislation, however, is worthy of the House’s support. Chairman Lucas and his colleagues should be commended for the important reforms they secured in this agreement.”
The deal also provides a permanent livestock disaster assistance program for producers affected by natural disasters, and also covers producers who were affected by recent droughts and winter storms.
According to a senior GOP committee aide, in regard to SNAP, the deal also:
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Eric Bradner, Shimon Prokupecz and Dan Merica, CNN
AJ Willingham, CNN
Seth Olson, Deseret News