House Fails to Pass Its Own Farm Bill
The U.S. House of Representatives has failed to pass its version of the farm bill, known as 2013 Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act, or as H.R. 1947. Funding cuts for the food stamp program—to the tune of $20.5 billion over the next 10 years—had proven to be a major point of contention, with the White House saying it could not accept the House bill in large part because of the cuts. The White House also cited a lack of substantial changes to crop insurance and other farm subsidy programs.
On Monday, June 10, the U.S. Senate passed the 2013 farm bill (S. 954) by a vote of 66 to 27. The current farm bill is due to expire in September.
Senator Debbie Stabnow (D-Mich.), who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, expressed disappointment, saying, "Twice the Senate has overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan Farm Bill that reforms farm programs, ends direct payments, cuts spending, and creates American agriculture jobs." "The House needs to find a way to get a five-year Farm Bill done. The Speaker needs to work in a bipartisan way and present a bill that Democrats and Republicans can support. He could start by bringing the Senate bill to the floor for a vote. Maintaining the status quo means no reform, no deficit reduction, and further uncertainty that slows growth in our agriculture industry. This is totally unacceptable."
"With today’s failure to pass a farm bill, the House has let down rural America," National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson said in a statement. "We are deeply disappointed that the House voted against the best interests of family farmers and rural America."