A panel of U.S. lawmakers voted Tuesday to simply keep in place the subsidy portion of the 2002 Farm Bill for another five years instead of overhauling the payment program that is generally considered to be a safety net for farmers.
The move by a U.S. House of Representatives agriculture subcommittee was criticized by an official from the Bush administration, which had asked Congress to make reforms that would make U.S. farm payment programs safer from challenges by members of the World Trade Organization.
The subsidy component is only one part of the massive 2007 farm bill, which is currently being drafted. The 2002 Farm Bill is set to expire later this year.
The subcommittee's recommendation is not final and will be considered by the full House Agriculture Committee at a later date.