House Republican leaders took a risk after bringing the farm bill back to the floor, but their risk in splitting apart funding for food stamps paid off.
According to the Washington Post, lawmakers voted 216 to 208 to make changes to the farm bill and end direct subsidy payments to farmers. Read more. However, reactions from the dairy industry have been mixed.
“The farm bill passed today by the House of Representatives is seriously flawed, in that it contains the Goodlatte-Scott dairy amendment, as well as a repeal of permanent agricultural law,” Jerry Kozak, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, said in a statement. “Neither of these measures serves the best long-term interests of dairy farmers. The Senate, by contrast, overwhelmingly passed the complete Dairy Security Act, which the National Milk Producers Federation and nearly all dairy farmers enthusiastically supported.”
Jerry Slominski, senior vice president of legislative and economic affairs for the International Dairy Foods Association, praised the House’s decision.
“The House-passed version of the Farm Bill will allow our industry to continue to grow and create thousands more jobs. The Senate-passed version of the Farm Bill, however, continues to include the divisive milk supply management policy that is opposed by national consumer groups, supermarket chains, restaurants, taxpayers, the Teamsters union and many dairy producers, including the second-largest dairy cooperative,” he said in a news release.
Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) also responded, pointing that passing a bill that does not contain the Dairy Security Act “falls short on many fronts.”
“It is truly disappointing that this omission was the only way to move this bill forward through a divided House of Representatives. Given that the Farm Bill affects not only the rural economy, but the nation’s economy as a whole, it is unfortunate that bi-partisan support has been so difficult to achieve,” said John Wilson, DFA senior vice president. “However, we remain hopeful that conference negotiations with the Senate bill, which does contain the DSA, will yield a dairy program we can embrace.”
On Wednesday, the White House threatened to veto the split farm bill because the bill “fails to reauthorize nutrition programs, which benefit millions of Americans - in rural, suburban and urban areas alike. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a cornerstone of our nation's food assistance safety net, and should not be left behind as the rest of the Farm Bill advances."