Legislators rush to slip food stamps, farm subsidies into fiscal cliff deal

WASHINGTON — Amidst a flurry of fiscal cliff negotiations, the leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees are hoping to pull off a legislative sleight of hand.

Eager to pass a farm bill, which would set federal spending on agriculture subsidies and food stamps for the next five years, they have been negotiating privately to reach a compromise that could be easily approved as part of a larger fiscal cliff package.

That path to passage would conveniently circumvent the logjam in the House, where disagreements between fiscal conservatives and farm-state Republicans have impeded the bill’s progress. And it would satisfy the complex set of constituencies for farm subsidies and a giant anti-poverty program.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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