Paul Ryan explains farm bill vote switch

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Ryan said that the farm bill should impose limitations to prevent wealthy farmers from receiving crop-insurance subsidies. 

The Senate bill has some income limitations, and Ryan said he has been “given assurances that the House will be able to speak on this issue.”

“I will consider supporting a conference agreement only if it includes an AGI limitation or equivalent reforms,” he said. 

The full Senate agreed over the objections of Agriculture Committee leaders to reduce crop insurance subsidies for farmers making more than $750,000 per year. The House farm bill did not contain the reform.

Ryan praised the bill for splitting off food stamp programs to allow them to be reformed separately. His budget called for $135 billion in food stamp cuts — $115 billion more than the original bill that failed on the House floor. 

“In the past, agricultural interests used the threat of skyrocketing costs under 'permanent law' to push status quo farm bills through Congress. By eliminating this arbitrary threat, we can continue to reform these programs under a more deliberative process,” he added.

This is not the first time Ryan has voted for a farm bill. He voted for the 2002 farm bill conference report.