House Candidates Discuss Farm Bill | VideoJessica Roose | 7/19/2012
Both candidates in the race for the House are urging lawmakers in Washington to quickly pass the House version before the August recess.
North Dakota has always been a rural state, so it`s no surprise that our congressional delegation and candidates for office are concerned with what comes out of the next Farm Bill. The biggest cut to producers is the elimination of the direct payments but the legislation in both the House and Senate versions expand crop insurance program.
Which many say is a step in the right direction.
"I think it`s exactly what farmers in our state have been asking for. They`ve been asking for less oversight and just a safety net that protects them in case there`s a major downturn in market or some geo-political force beyond their control." said House Republican Candidate Kevin Cramer.
Democrat Pam Gulleson, his opponent in the race for U.S. House, says she agrees with the expansion of the crop insurance program. Overall, she says both bills have many good things to them, but she is concerned with the $16 billion in cuts to the food stamp program in the House version.
"I think the House version goes too far. You know a lot of people that are on nutrition programs; this is our seniors, our school hot lunch programs, senior citizens and the working poor. I think it`s important that we find a middle ground."
Cramer says the cuts only represent a two-percent reduction, which he believes would be a small step in the right direction.
"We have seen a doubling of Americans on food stamps since Barack Obama became President. We need to cut spending, we have 45 million people on food stamps. It should not be a permanent program, but rather a bridge to prosperity and to better opportunities."
The Senate version only passed $4.5 billion in cuts to the food stamp program.
The bill has not yet been to the House floor for consideration. Today Representative Rick Berg called on the house to vote on the bill. He said it will save $35 billion in mandatory funding.