Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) made clear at his weekly press conference on Thursday that any savings accrued from a farm bill that is being discussed by the House and the Senate should not be used to get rid of the sequestration cuts enacted in 2013. Boehner said he warned Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), who is the chief budget negotiator for House Republicans, to avoid using the rumored $51 in savings from a purported farm bill to replace the $91 billion that will be automatically cut in fiscal 2014.
Boehner stated, “I think it’s a separate issue, and I’ve made it very clear to Chairman Ryan.” He added that any tightening of tax loopholes should be related to tax reform and not a way to lessen the impact of sequestration.
Rep. Collin Peterson (Minn.), who is spearheading the House Democrats on farm bill negotiations, said there could be a deal next week. The problems remaining are the $33 billion disparity in food stamp cuts between what the Dems want and what the GOP wants, and tax increases, favored by the Democrats and rejected by the GOP.