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House approves farm portion of farm bill
by Yvonne Lesicko
The U.S. House has approved H.R. 2642, the farm portion of the farm bill by a vote of 216-208. The bill removes the nutrition title, which includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, but leaves all other provisions intact. The remaining titles include commodity programs, conservation, energy, trade, crop insurance, rural development and research. The bill also repeals the 1938 and 1949 permanent law which is what each current five-year farm bill is based upon. Neither of these changes were included in the Senate version.
While we were hopeful the House would not split the farm bill nor repeal permanent law, we recognize their goal was to move a farm bill forward. We will now focus our efforts on working with both chambers during the conference committee process in order to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions. Our goal is to deliver a comprehensive farm bill before the expiration of the current extension in September.
Farm Bureau strongly believes that the risk management tools provided in the farm bill are critical to Ohio farmers, and we look forward to moving ahead with fundamental farm policy legislation. We await the next steps on how the House version and Senate version, which contains nutrition and does not repeal permanent law, will be reconciled. We will be working with both sides of the aisle and both chambers of Congress to ensure passage of a new five-year farm bill that moves us to programs that drive market-based decisions while providing proper risk management tools to our nationís farmers.
Yvonne Lesicko is Ohio Farm Bureau senior director of legislative and regulatory policy.