House fails to pass Farm Bill

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Opposition from both liberals and conservatives doomed the house version of the 2013 Farm Bill, which failed by a vote of 195 to 234 on Thursday, with “nay” votes coming from both sides of the aisle. Among House Republicans, 171 voted for the bill while 62 opposed it. As for House Democrats, 24 voted for the bill and 172 against.

Congress Previously, the House Agriculture Committee approved the bill with a largely bipartisan vote of 36 to 10.

In the full House, however, the bill encountered opposition from liberals opposed to its $20.5 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as the Food Stamp program. Some conservatives on the other hand, believe the cuts to the nutrition program, and cuts to various farm programs, did not go deep enough.

The vote drew mixed reactions from agriculture organizations and other groups.

“Passage of a 2013 Farm Bill remains the top priority for NCBA,” says NCBA president Scott George, a dairy and beef producer from Cody, Wyo. “That is why we are extremely disappointed in the failure of many members of the House for not recognizing the importance of a full five-year farm bill. In the midst of the struggling economy, rural America has been one of the few bright spots. This failure by the House places cattlemen and women behind the curve on having agriculture policy which not only provides certainty for producers nationwide, but also incorporates priorities important to the cattle industry.

“We were very close in this legislation to providing disaster programs for our producers, which would have extended disaster assistance for five years and would have covered losses in 2012 and 2013,” George adds. “This was not a perfect bill for any industry, but in the end cattlemen and women made sacrifices in order to support this bill. We expected members of the House to do the same.”

National Farmers Union president Roger Johnson expressed similar sentiment. “With today’s failure to pass a farm bill, the House has let down rural America,” he says. “We are deeply disappointed that the House voted against the best interests of family farmers and rural America.”

Conservative group Heritage Action praised the vote, issuing this statement from CEO Michael A. Needham: “Today is a victory for the taxpayer and the free market.  Now is the time for the House to recognize what so many others have: The unholy alliance that has long dominated America’s agriculture and nutrition policy must end.”

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) also welcomed the House of Representatives’ rejection of the proposed bill, but for much different reasons. “Now is time to press the restart button,” said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow. “The House of Representatives defeated a Farm Bill that would have eliminated food assistance for 2 million individuals, many of whom are in working families with children or seniors.  Now Congress has the opportunity to debate a serious food policy that aims to feed all Americans, not take food from the hungry.  We will continue to work with our partners in Congress and our allied faith and anti-hunger advocates to protect SNAP. We encourage Congress to move forward with a more responsible Farm Bill, one that doesn’t aim to undermine our safety net.”

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J. McCain    
texas  |  June, 21, 2013 at 10:13 AM

"Good Luck". why not just take over the family farms and let the government and the liberal biased groups provide for all of the "hungry" people in the World. Either get out of the way and allow American Farmers and Ranchers to do their jobs (feeding the world) or get ready to pay $150 for a steak at Walmart. You think working class people can't feed their families now, wait a few years, only the elite policitico groups will be dining on prime rib and fine wine. The House and Senate can't make good decisions on anything, if we don't know anything else, surely we know that by now, right? So long America. You are done and it was at the hand of the Legislatiive and Executive Branche's of government that did it to you. Congrats to all who helped defeat this bill. You'll get to pay more for your food soon, very soon........

in a drought  |  June, 21, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Think again J. Scap the whole idea of a farm bill, cut out subdidies, disaster relief, the SNAP program and everything else connected to the "Farm Bill" and something amazing will happen. The free market will take over and positive change will rapidly occur. All decisions will become true economic decisions, not decisions aimed at maximizing income from the taxpayer's pockets. The cost/prize squeeze will adjust. The best at producing in an economic fashion will rise like cream, and those dependant on the government program will likely go broke. It may even include you J. But you'll be replaced by folks willing and able to compete in a free market. Once producers get a taste of freedom from government intrusion and bondage they'll show you how to feed the world. As for those on the SNAP program, they'll learn an old truth that'll be new to them: THOSE WHO DON'T WORK DON'T EAT. Good luck J.

Spokane  |  June, 21, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Food stamps was the reason it didn't pass? How about the "Monsanto Clause?" How about allowing the spread of GMOs? How about the poisoning of the world by DuPont, Dow, Monsanto and their paid minions? How about we get some sense, stop the chemical industry in its tracks, get control over our food again with a government that actually cares about the health of its citizens and not the wealth of the top 1%? How about farmers get some science and not let chemical companies run roughshod over them and their land, their families and their lives? How about farmers, cattlemen and animal production companies stop being the slaves of chemicals and start using good solid common-sense growing and production techniques instead of being th enemies of the citizens of the world? hahahahahahaha just kidding: I already know the answer to these questions: farmers will continue to spread toxic chemicals because they are stupid & lazy, cattlemen will continue to spread toxic chemicals because they are greedy & ignorant and animal production operations do not care one lick whether you & I live or die, even if THEY live or die as long as the money keeps rolling in. Oh and the politicians? Worthless as you-know-what on a boar hog.

Spokane  |  June, 21, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Once producers get a taste of freedom they will poison the world with toxic chemicals and foods devoid of nutrition but full of chemicals and poisonous genetic bits and parts. Isn't that what you meant to say?

SW Okla  |  June, 21, 2013 at 10:49 AM

From the way the votes fell, it looks to me like it's time for a whole lot of people, FARMERS INCLUDED, to be weaned from the government tit.

Craig A. Moore    
Billings, MT  |  June, 24, 2013 at 08:27 AM

I think I know what the BM stands for.

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