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House Approps approves FY 2013 Ag bill

The House Appropriations Committee today approved a fiscal year 2013 Agriculture appropriations bill that is very similar to the bill passed earlier by the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, but including an amendment by Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., that prohibits farm program benefits to individuals or entities with adjusted gross incomes of more than $250,000.

The Flake amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

“The federal government cannot afford to hand out subsidies to people who clearly earn enough income to stand on their own,” said Flake in a news release. “Giving federal farm subsidies to wealthy individuals is simply indefensible.”

Another significant feature of the bill is a 12 percent cut in the funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., the ranking member on the subcommittee, proposed $224.4 million for the CFTC for the new fiscal year, a slight increase. Committee members defeated the idea, 27-19, on a party-line vote, Reuters reported.