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Farm bill fails to pass the House
by Yvonne Lesicko
Yesterday the U.S. House completed consideration of the 2013 Farm Bill. Surprisingly and unfortunately, final passage failed 195-234. American Farm Bureau Federation released the following statement:
“The American Farm Bureau Federation is highly disappointed the House did not complete work on the 2013 Farm Bill, the ‘Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013.’ It was a balanced bill that would have provided much needed risk management tools and a viable economic safety net for America’s farmers and ranchers.
“We commend House Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) for their commitment and hard work in bringing the bill to the floor and working toward its passage. We look forward to working with them as we regroup and move forward. We also appreciate House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) for working with the Agriculture Committee leadership to bring the bill to the floor.
“A completed farm bill is much needed to provide farmers and ranchers certainty for the coming years and to allow the Agriculture Department to plan for an orderly implementation of the bill’s provisions.”
OFBF shares this major disappointment in the House's failure to pass this bill. It will likely take some time for House leadership to sort out any "next steps" for the bill. There are various reasons for the bill’s failure, but many Republicans say the cuts to nutrition programs are not enough, and many Democrats oppose any reductions in nutrition funding.
The final vote included 62 Republicans voting no and 171 voting yes, while 24 Democrats voted in favor of the bill, and 172 voted no. Ohio members of Congress who voted against the bill include: Representatives Beatty, Chabot, Jordan, Kaptur, Ryan and Wenstrup. These individuals need to hear from Farm Bureau members immediately with the message that we need to pass a farm bill now. Ohio farmers support the reforms in this bill that saves money and at the same time provides risk management programs, including the critical crop insurance program, conservation programs that improve Ohio's waters, dairy programs, agricultural research funding, and much more.
Yvonne Lesicko is the senior director of legislative and regulatory policy for Ohio Farm Bureau.