Epstein on the Royce-Engel Amendment
This past week, to much public attention, the House of Representatives H. R. 1947, the Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013. The in this $940 billion and 629 page bill relate to food stamps and nutrition, which account for $744 billion of the bill. The points out that the food stamps program has ballooned from 21 million recipients a decade ago to about 47 million today. That monster program is then paired with about $194 billion worth of budget allocations to commodity support programs ($40 billion), crop insurance ($93 billion), and conservation ($56.7 billion).
Tucked into the corner of this sprawling farm bill was bipartisan Amendment #55, offered by the Republican House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce and Ranking Member Democrat Eliot Engel. The purpose of the Royce-Engel Amendment is to reform provisions of the 1954 (often called PL 480), which is