Farm-state lawmakers hoping for passage of a farm bill by the end of the year will have to first bridge a deep divide between the House and the Senate over the role of the government in helping the nation's poor.
The House passed a bill Thursday that would make around $4 billion in cuts annually to the almost $80 billion-a-year food stamp program and allow states to put broad new work requirements in place for recipients. A Senate-passed farm bill would make around a tenth of the amount those cuts, or $400 million a year.
The White House threatened a veto, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called the bill ``hateful, punitive legislation.''
Congressman Jim McGovern who was leading the fight against the cuts in the House says that the cuts if they become a reality would effect only the poorest of the poor.