House, Senate Begin Farm Bill Negotiations Wednesday

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The fight over renewing the nation's farm bill has centered on cuts to the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program. Members of the House and Senate are scheduled to begin long-awaited negotiations on the five-year, roughly $500 billion bill Wednesday. The House and Senate are far apart on the sensitive issue of how much money to cut from food stamps, and lawmakers are hoping to resolve that debate before election-year politics set in.  The farm bill, which sets policy for farm subsidies, the food stamps and other rural development projects, has moved slowly through Congress in the last two years as lawmakers have focused on higher-profile priorities, like budget negotiations, health care and immigration legislation.