Blunt, Hartzler call for new farm bill

Aug 16, 2013

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt spoke to an assembly of politicians and fair-goers at the annual Governor's Ham Breakfast, Missouri State Fair, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013.
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt spoke to an assembly of politicians and fair-goers at the annual Governor's Ham Breakfast, Missouri State Fair, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013.
Credit Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

Two Republican members of Missouri's Congressional delegation were at the State Fair Thursday, calling on Congress to pass a new federal farm bill, instead of extending the farm bill passed in 2008 by another year.  U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and Congressmember Vicky Hartzler told Missouri Farm Bureau members and the media that the hold-up centers on how much money to spend on food stamps.  The GOP-led U.S. House voted to cut the food stamp program, now known as SNAP, by $20 billion.  The Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate voted to cut food stamps by only $4 billion.  Blunt says he believes there'll be an agreement somewhere in between.

"The farm bill that we had under (former) Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi's leadership is not a farm bill that should be extended for another couple of years, but in fact needs to be replaced with the reforms that are in both the House and the Senate farm bill(s)," Blunt said.

Those reforms include eliminating direct payments to farmers and some other commodity programs.  Blunt says he doesn't think an agreement will be reached before the current one-year extension of the 2008 farm bill expires September 30th.