With passage of a nutrition bill by the House late Thursday, farm groups are calling for movement on the Farm Bill. The American Soybean Association called on the House to quickly name its conferees with the Senate and get to work reconciling the farm and food legislation in the two chambers. The House bill represents the nutrition portion of farm legislation split off earlier this summer in an attempt to pass individual, freestanding bills.
ASA President Danny Murphy, a soybean farmer from Canton, MS, issued the following statement: “Now that the House has moved through its farm and food bills, it is time to get to work passing a single piece of comprehensive legislation that provides farmers the certainty they need to continue producing and making the long term investments needed for a steady and reliable source of safe and affordable food, fiber and fuel on which our friends and neighbors in communities across the country depend. This process has gone on for more than three years now, and we still have no long-term legislation in place. That is entirely too long. The current farm bill, which already been extended once by Congress, expires on September 30 and with it authority and funding for key market development, conservation, agricultural research, and price support programs. These are the real consequences of Congressional inaction, and we expect the House to appoint its conferees as soon as possible, and we call on both chambers to work across party lines to craft a bill that addresses the needs of both farmers and consumers.”
Jim Mulhern, Chief Operating Officer, National Milk Producers Federation said in a statement, “Now that the House has passed its nutrition policy portion of the farm bill, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) urges House leaders to quickly appoint conferees who should, with their counterparts in the Senate, finish work on a new farm bill and get it passed into law. For the nation’s dairy farmers, it is critical for agriculture leaders in the House and Senate to include in the 2013 farm bill the provisions of the Dairy Security Act, which has already been approved this year by both the House and Senate Agriculture committees.”
“We are pleased that the House is one step closer towards passage of the farm bill and we encourage the House to appoint conferees to work out the differences between the House and Senate bills,” said Scott George, NCBA president and Cody, WY, cattle and dairy producer. “Passage of the farm bill is the top priority as set by our membership and we will continue to work with Congress to pass a farm bill that meets the needs of cattle producers and guarantees certainty for rural America.”
Earlier in the day, the American Farm Bureau Federation urged Congress to get moving on passing a Farm Bill. AFBF President Bob Stallman says the farm bill isn’t just a farm bill, “It’s an economic stimulus bill that creates jobs and helps small businesses and rural communities every year.” He says Congress can, and must, finish a farm bill this year. Stallman is confident Congress can pass a five-year bill this year.
House Republicans narrowly pushed through a bill on Thursday which slashes billions of dollars from the food stamp program, over the objections of Democrats and a veto threat from President Obama. Republican leaders said the bill would make needed changes to a program that has grown out of control.
The bill would cut $40 billion from the food stamp program over the next 10 years. It would also require adults between 18 and 50 without minor children to find a job or to enroll in a work training program in order to receive benefits. It would also limit the time those recipients could get benefits to three months.