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Farm Bill Defeated in U.S. House

June 20, 2013
By: Nate Birt, Top Producer Deputy Managing Editor google + 
Farm Bill C SPAN
  

The 2013 farm bill has been defeated in the U.S. House of Representatives


In a surprising development, the U.S. House of Representives voted down the 2013 farm bill this afternoon by a 195-234 vote, with opposition coming from both sides of the aisle. Next steps for the $940 billion legislation, which authorizes farm insurance, conservation, and food stamp programs for five years, were not immediately clear. The Senate had previously passed a version of the farm bill.

On the Republican Party side, 171 representatives supported the bill and 62 opposed it, data shared by the House clerk's office shows. On the Democratic Party side, 24 representatives supported the legislation while 172 opposed it.

(Click to read: Expert: Farm Bill Resurrection Tough, Not Impossible)

The bill, which was supported by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who rarely votes, came under fire from conservatives who wanted deeper cuts in federal insurance programs. They were joined in opposition by liberals who objected to $2 billion in cuts in the food stamp program. The Obama administration had threatened to veto the legislation.

The House bill would have trimmed $40 billion from farm and nutrition programs over the next 10 years. A little more than half would have some from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as the food stamps program.

Farm Bureau's Mary Kay Thatcher explains why the bill was defeated:

Click here to see how your representative voted on the bill.

The House's failure to pass a bill drew a stinging rebuke from Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture. She noted that the Senate has twice passed a Farm Bill. "The speaker needs to work in a bipartisan way to present a bill that Democrats and Republicans can support," she said, adding that a good place to start would be to bring the Senate-passed bill to a vote.

(Click to read: Ag Left 'Holding the Bag' by Farm Bill Defeat)

Both the Senate-passed version and the House bill would cut $5 billion annually in direct payments to farmers. The bills created new support programs for peanut, cotton, and rice farmers.

Meanwhile, CEO Michael Needham of the conservative advocacy group Heritage Action for America applauded the vote. Conservative lobbies had argued that the bill didn't go far enough to remove "market-distorting" farm subsidies.

"Today is a victory for the taxpayer and the free market," Needham says. "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."

Reaction on social media were mixed. On AgDay's Facebook page, John Dunning Jr. shared his concerns.

"We have NO real people representing us in Washington," Dunning says. "We all need to band together and vote these clowns out of office. That's a slap in the face to us. They got us into this debt mess and now they take it out on the American farmer. ... Around 80% of the farm bill is to help people on welfare/food stamps, and they abuse it. It's time all our politicians get a grip on reality."

Read more farm bill coverage.

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RELATED TOPICS: Policy, 2013 Farm Bill

 
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COMMENTS (3 Comments)

Tiny
If a American Farmer sells their land who is going to buy it? Normally, 95% or so go to American Farmers. What are you trying to say?

Crop Insurance as it is bought and sold today shouldn't exist. It is little more than a transfer payment from poorer people who pay taxes to wealthier people who pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes; whether they are farmers or those who get salaries from the insurance companies who write it and sell it. The product is actuarially impossible. If it weren't for the government subsidies it would never be written by an insurance company. It is really little more that a "front" for delivering subsidy payments. 62% of the producer premium is paid by the Federal Government. That 62% is never taxed. Why?

Conservation. If a producer can pay $10,000 / acre for the land, why can't he pay for the engineering and putting in the waterways, terraces, etc. Why does a taxpayer need to subsidise that?

Why do we need a FSA Office in every county? A lot of farmers now farm in 3 or more counties. If you can run the equipment down the road that many miles to farm ground, I'm pretty sure you can get the pickup down the road to the FSA Office to certify acres wherever it might be.

SNAP also should be wacked. The eligibility requirements should at least be taken back to what they were prior to the G. W. Bush Administration. In most public schools over half of the kids qualify for subsidied lunch. Why is that possible? If your answer is alot of poor people are having kids I guess they qualify by being poor for there subsidy.

Using that logic . . . .Why do farmers qualify for theirs? There aren't many left who can plead poor when compared to the rest of the U.S. population.
8:23 PM Jun 20th
 
Tiny
If a American Farmer sells their land who is going to buy it? Normally, 95% or so go to American Farmers. What are you trying to say?

Crop Insurance as it is bought and sold today shouldn't exist. It is little more than a transfer payment from poorer people who pay taxes to wealthier people who pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes; whether they are farmers or those who get salaries from the insurance companies who write it and sell it. The product is actuarially impossible. If it weren't for the government subsidies it would never be written by an insurance company. It is really little more that a "front" for delivering subsidy payments. 62% of the producer premium is paid by the Federal Government. That 62% is never taxed. Why?

Conservation. If a producer can pay $10,000 / acre for the land, why can't he pay for the engineering and putting in the waterways, terraces, etc. Why does a taxpayer need to subsidise that?

Why do we need a FSA Office in every county? A lot of farmers now farm in 3 or more counties. If you can run the equipment down the road that many miles to farm ground, I'm pretty sure you can get the pickup down the road to the FSA Office to certify acres wherever it might be.

SNAP also should be wacked. The eligibility requirements should at least be taken back to what they were prior to the G. W. Bush Administration. In most public schools over half of the kids qualify for subsidied lunch. Why is that possible? If your answer is alot of poor people are having kids I guess they qualify by being poor for there subsidy.

Using that logic . . . .Why do farmers qualify for theirs? There aren't many left who can plead poor when compared to the rest of the U.S. population.
8:23 PM Jun 20th
 
deeptiller - Stoughton, WI
Crop Insurance by itself is not enough. If they eliminate farm programs than we need a non expiring ethanol law. Petroleum companies will not blend without mandatory blending. Insurance by itself is terrible. Insurance could easily lock in prices below cost of production. We need a SAFETY NET for producers. Once american farmers sell there land, we are all in trouble.
3:33 PM Jun 20th
 



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