Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas says farm bill agreement “almost a miracle”

House may pass legislation on Wednesday covering farm subsidies, conservation programs and food stamps
by Chris Casteel Published: January 29, 2014
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Much of the reduction will come from preventing states from increasing food stamp payments by linking them to assistance for heating bills.

Some House Democrats charged Tuesday that the food stamp cuts were too deep and would hurt people already struggling to feed their families.

Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., called the cuts “an attack on poor people” and said an estimated one million people would lose benefits because of the bill.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association announced its opposition to the bill because it does not repeal Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling; that law, the group said, “has already resulted in steep discounts to our producers and caused prejudice against our largest trading partners.”

Stabenow said she was disappointed by the criticism since the bill includes an unprecedented $7 billion in support for ranchers. Lucas said his committee would continue to work on the issue.

Taxpayers for Common Sense urged lawmakers to vote against the bill, saying it would continue to lavish federal money on thriving agribusinesses.

Negotiators dropped a provision authored by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, that would reduce crop insurance premiums for farmers with adjusted gross incomes over $750,000 a year.

According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, some agribusiness could receive $1 million a year in taxpayer money for crop insurance premiums.

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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