The Farm Bill - Questions and Answers

Posted on Feb 05, 2014

The huge, five-year farm bill that Congress sent to President Obama on Tuesday sets policy for hundreds of programs, including farm subsidies and food stamps. It would make small cutbacks to both, eliminating some subsidy programs and cutting the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program by $800 million a year, or 1 percent.

Some questions and answers about the farm bill and its politics:

Q: What is the farm bill?

A: It’s a wide-ranging bill, usually written every five years, that sets policy for government farm subsidies and some of the country’s nutrition programs, including food stamps. It also sets dollar levels for the Agriculture Department and subsidizes farmers and rural communities for a multitude of things — from protecting environmentally sensitive land to international food aid to rural Internet services