WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee says she is willing to consider higher cuts to the food stamp program in an effort to include a massive five-year farm bill in negotiations on the so-called fiscal cliff.
Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow says she is open to cuts beyond the $4 billion over 10 years included in a Senate-passed farm bill. A farm bill approved by the House Agriculture Committee would include $16 billion in cuts.
Both amounts are small in relation to the program's total estimated cost, which is almost $800 billion over the next decade. But Stabenow's willingness to move on an issue long sacred to Democrats shows progress in negotiations as farm-state leaders scramble to get the bill done before the end of the year.