Farm bill could hinge on budget talks

A farm bill that stalled in Congress before the election could see quick action by the end of the year if congressional leaders decide they need its spending cuts -- including a small reduction in the $80-billion-a-year food stamps program -- to make a deal for averting the so-called fiscal cliff.

The farm bill passed by the Senate in June would save $23 billion over 10 years, while a version passed by the House Agriculture Committee in July would save $35 billion. The savings come from cuts to farm subsidies and by tightening eligibility requirements for those who receive food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

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Originally posted Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012