The Congressional Budget Office has released the score for the nutrition bill organized by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. H.R. 3102 – the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013 – would cut food stamps and make other changes to federal nutrition programs. According to the CBO – the bill would cut 39-billion dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program over 10 years. The CBO summary projects – under its baseline – that SNAP participation to decline from 48-million people in an average month in fiscal year 20114 to 34-million in 2023. The CBO says the two provisions with the largest budgetary effects would reduce the number of waivers available for certain childless adults who would otherwise be subject to work requirements or time limits and restrict categorical eligibility. A provision that would change benefit levels for program participants would have the third-largest budgetary effects. Because enacting the legislation would affect direct spending – CBO notes pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting the proposed legislation would not affect federal revenues. CBO has not estimated the additional discretionary spending for nutrition programs that would result from implementing the bill – as such spending would be subject to appropriation actions. CBO has also not reviewed the bill for intergovernmental or private-sector mandates.
Business Groups Warn Farm Bill Could Violate Trade Rules
In an effort to get lawmakers to change the farm bill – major U.S. business groups have said this week that the new farm bill might violate World Trade Organization rules against trade-distorting subsidies. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and National Foreign Trade Council said in a letter that the bills pending in the House and Senate carried some of the same provisions the WTO ruled against in the cotton case and that the bills run a substantial risk of violating WTO rules on farm subsidies. They said the House provision tying crop payments to plantings could quickly invite other nations to initiate dispute settlements against with U.S. with good chances of success. According to analysis by the international law firm White and Case – potential complainants include Brazil, China and Argentina. It called the House provision the most likely trigger for a WTO case. The analysis said the somewhat similar Senate provision that would link price supports to historical plantings would be less likely to draw a challenge – but that its high support prices could trigger payments that exceed WTO parameters.
Source: NAFB News Service