Savings of $4.5 billion in the Nutrition title are achieved through cuts in utility allowances in both the Senate and House versions. In the House Committee bill, modifications and updates to nutrition program eligibility requirements were scored to result in an additional $11.5 billion in savings through 2022. These latter cuts account for more than 70% of the savings in the Nutrition Title and nearly 1/3 of the total savings projected for the House Committee Bill, and is an area over which there exists significant political debate.
Additional Spending in the Crop Insurance Title
Increases in spending on programs within the Crop Insurance Title are included in both versions of the 2012 Farm Bill. Introduction of the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) and Stacked Income Protection program for cotton (STAX) account for $6.2 in additional spending in the Senate bill and $7.8 billion in the House draft. These two programs account for more than 100% of the spending increase in the Crop Insurance Title in the Senate bill, with other insurance programs scored as having net savings. SCO and STAX account for just over 82% of the spending increase projected for Crop Insurance in the House Committee bill.
Both the Senate passed and House draft versions of the 2012 Farm Bill are credited with significant savings relative to existing programs over the 2013 to 2022 fiscal years. These savings are achieved through a major overhaul to farm commodity programs and cuts in the Conservation and Nutrition Titles. The version passed by the House Ag Committee is credited with achieving much larger total savings ($35 billion vs. $23.5 billion) mainly through deeper cuts to Nutrition and Commodity programs despite a larger increase in spending due to changes in the Crop Insurance Title. The differences in spending on nutrition programs is likely to be a point of major disagreement as the 2012 Farm Bill process moves forward. How this difference is compromised may well impact the final structure of cuts and spending on other titles and individual programs.
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimates:
S. 3240, Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012 as passed by the United State Senate on June 21, 2012. July 6, 2012
Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2012. July 5, 2012
S. 3240, Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012 as introduced in the United State Senate on May 24, 2012. May 24, 2012
USDA Mandatory Farm Programs – March 2012 Baseline Projection. March 13, 2012