ANNAPOLIS — With the U.S. Farm Bill of 2008 about to expire Sept. 30, advocates from Maryland and across the nation are pressuring Congress to quickly pass the 2012 bill that would end the subsidies for big corporate farms before Congress breaks for the election.
But Maryland lawmakers are not confident it will make that deadline.
The Senate and the House bills spell the end for direct payment subsidies in favor of crop insurance programs. The gridlock stems from disagreement over cuts to the food stamp program, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. After the Senate proposed $4.5 billion in cuts to SNAP, the House Agriculture Committee proposed cutting $16.5 billion that would leave an estimated 2 million to 3 million Americans without food assistance, according to the progressive Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
The new bill would make more Maryland farms eligible for government assistance.