The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


White House threatens veto over SNAP cuts as House Rules considers farm bill

The Office of Management and Budget said late today that President Barack Obama’s advisers would recommend that he veto the House farm bill if it were to become law, but that possibility is remote since a House-passed bill would have to be conference with the Senate-passed bill.

In a statement of administration policy, the Office of Management and Budget issued the veto threat over the $20.5 billion cut in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP or food stamps, and said that budget savings could be achieved with cuts to crop insurance subsidies as Obama proposed in his fiscal year 2014 budget.

“The administration strongly opposes the harmful cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a cornerstone of our nation’s food assistance safety net,” OMB said in the statement.

“The bill makes unacceptable deep cuts in SNAP, which could increase hunger among millions of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, including families with children and senior citizens,” OMB said.

The statement from the administration came out while the House Rules Committee was meeting on the farm bill, and was read to the committee by House Rules ranking member Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y.

The Rules Committee did not issue a rule on the farm bill tonight, but has scheduled a meeting at 2 p.m. Tuesday to announce how the amendments should be handled.

At the Rules hearing, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., asked that debate be allowed on all the issues, but that the number of amendments be limited.

House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, said there had already been “a great deal of preparation” between the Rules and Agriculture committees and that he, Slaughter and the committee would “sift through the amendments” and make a judgment.