Farm bill emerges
A House plan to make major cuts to food stamps would be scaled back under a bipartisan agreement on a massive farm bill, a near end to a more than two-year fight that has threatened to hurt rural lawmakers in an election year. The measure announced Monday by the House and Senate Agriculture committees preserves food stamp benefits for most Americans who receive them and continues generous subsidies for farmers. The House was expected to vote on the bill Wednesday, with the Senate following shortly after. The compromise was expected to cut food stamps by about $800 million a year, or around 1 percent. The farm bill released Monday would cost almost $100 billion a year over five years, with a cut of around $2.3 billion a year overall from current spending.
Student sets self on fire
A 16-year-old boy set himself on fire at a suburban Denver high school on Monday in an apparent suicide attempt that left him critically injured, authorities said. The boy didn’t make any threats before starting the fire in the cafeteria at Standley Lake High School at about 7:15 a.m., Westminster police spokeswoman Cheri Spottke said. A custodian was able to use a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze before it could spread, Spottke said. Several other students were in the cafeteria at the time, but none was injured.
After going through rehab for cocaine and alcohol abuse and pledging that he’d work through his problems to regain his Florida constituents’ trust, Trey Radel’s short career in Congress ended with a whimper Monday. Facing a House ethics investigation, a growing group of primary challengers and the steady drumbeat of a Republican establishment calling for him to step down, the 37-year-old, who pleaded guilty to cocaine-possession charges last year, quietly tendered his resignation letter. Several GOP leaders, including Gov. Rick Scott, had asked the freshman Republican to resign. But Radel had previously pledged to stay in office after taking a leave of absence and completing in-patient treatment.
Compiled from wire reports.