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Proposed food aid plan getting an overhaul

May 24, 2013 at 7:33 PM

WASHINGTON, May 24 (UPI) -- U.S. lawmakers say the White House's proposed overhaul of the $1.4 billion food aid program will need to be scaled back significantly.

Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., said the Obama administration's proposal is far too aggressive.

It "never had much of a chance," he told Roll Call.

The White House wanted as much as 45 percent of U.S. emergency food assistance to be sourced locally and to move jurisdiction for the international food assistance program from Agriculture committees to the State Department, which has prompted concern from the farming industry and lawmakers that represent those interests.

The proposal also called for an end to the "monetization" of U.S. grains, in which international non-profit organizations sell the grain to fund their projects. The administration says this method lowers the price local farmers can get for their own crops.

Lawmakers are working with the U.S. Agency for International Development on a smaller package of changes, Roll Call said Friday.

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