Floyd County farmers received subsidies totaling $8.3 million between 1995 and 2012, according to a database compiled by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group through open records requests to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The farm bill providing that wide range of relief programs is due to expire Sept. 30, however, and Congress was at an impasse on the reauthorization when members left on summer break. The session is set to resume Monday.
“While we don’t yet know what the next steps will be, we’ll be working with both sides of the aisle and both chambers of Congress to ensure passage of a new five-year farm bill,” said Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The Senate passed a new bill with support from both Georgia members, Republicans Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson.
The bill, Chambliss said, “not only saves $24 billion with sequestration cuts included, but also provides an effective safety net for farmers and ranchers to rely on in times of need.”
But the House version essentially cut the bill in half, removing the funding for food stamps, school lunches and other nutrition assistance programs.
“For the first time in 40 years, the farm bill is true to its name,” said Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger. “With the massive welfare section taken out, the legislation is finally about farm policy and not unrelated government spending.”