House Republicans rejected a status-quo reauthorization of the farm bill two weeks ago. This isn’t surprising – farm bills are very rarely cleanly reuthorized – but usually, eventually, the farm bill is passed. There are a few different ways that reform can be accomplished, but there’s a solid conservative movement to do something this time.
Jayson Lusk, professor of agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University, has pushed for separating out the food stamp program – which makes up the largest part of the farm bill, by far – from the rest of the agricultural policy. As Lusk says,
Although I realize it is probably politically infeasible (although perhaps less so given recent developments), it would seem to make some sense to me to separate the components of the farm bill and see if they can stand on their own. Those advocating for food-stamp spending should make their case and put the money over in the Department of Health and Human Services. Those advocating for farm supports should make arguments with merits that stand on their own grounds.