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U.S. House to take up amendments to Farm Bill

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - The U.S. House is scheduled to start voting Wednesday on dozens of amendments to a new five-year Farm Bill.

The main bone of contention is a proposed reduction of $2 billion a year in food stamps – plus tighter eligibility requirements for the poor to receive aid.

Efforts to both expand and reduce the size of the proposed cuts are among 226 amendments offered to the five-year package of government farm programs – which passed the Senate last week by a 3-1 margin.

Senators called for a $400 million cut in food stamps, something Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson said was not enough. Other amendments would make changes to various subsidies, and replace the market stabilization and margin protection plans for dairy producers.

President Obama has said that he would veto the current House version of the Farm Bill. He’s against reducing food assistance.

The president also says the House package does not do enough to reform crop insurance and commodity programs – and does not provide funds for renewable energy. However, it’s not likely that a House version would get to the president’s desk.

Speaker John Boehner says he favors sending the Farm Bill to a House-Senate conference committee, and let them hammer out the disagreements.