Feb. 6, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Stabenow Says Food Programs Will Remain in Final Farm Bill

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo

The Senate farm bill (S 954) retains SNAP although it includes a $4 billion reduction in funding over 10 years.

Stabenow said a conference cannot begin until the House sends legislation to the Senate.

“We can’t go to conference unless we have something from the House. I’m willing to take whatever the House gives us and then work with the chairman and the ranking member of House committee. I’m confident that we can put things back together to be able to get bipartisan support,” she said.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, an alliance of rural, agriculture and conservation groups, took up Stabenow’s call for action.

“There are enough days left before the farm bill extension expires to conference the bills and create a comprehensive and bipartisan result that can be signed into law, but only if the process begins now,” the organization said in a statement Monday. “There is a lot of work to be done, so let’s get started and create a final bill that maximizes reform and invests in the future of food and farming.”

Meanwhile, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate also said that the House-passed farm bill is dead in the Senate without a nutrition title.

“For 50 years ... we have had a partnership of those living in the cities who are interested in nutritional programs, whether it’s food stamps or school lunch, and those who represented rural areas, which I did in Congress, that came together in a farm bill,” Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

“It was a winning formula,” Durbin said. “Now the House Republicans have given up on that. That’s a mistake.”

Philip Brasher contributed to this report.

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