President of the National Corn Growers Association Pam Johnson today released a statement in response the House's vote to split the farm bill and to move forward with a farm-only farm bill today. While noting "disappointment" with the decision to sever the link between farm programs and nutrition programs as well as with the bills' commodity title and its repeal of the 1949 permanent law, Johnson says "we see no other way to move the farm bill to conference with the Senate unless the House approves the bill before it today." Therefore, the NCGA urges members of the House to approve the bill.
The statement also notes, "we expect immediate action by a conference committee to secure a five-year farm bill we can support." But the NCGA reiterated this by no means reflects its approval of the the contents or the manner in which the bill came to the floor. Therefore, NCGA says, "Unless significant change is made to the bill in the conference committee, we will strongly urge its rejection by the Senate and the House."
The full statement is included below.
The farm bill affects every American; those who eat and those who produce. We view the proposed actions to be taken on the floor of the House today with disappointment. Legislation that for decades has been a bright spot for how our Congress should work - in a bipartisan, bicameral manner - is now stuck in a morass of petty bickering and political gamesmanship. We do not believe that the link between farm programs and nutrition programs should be severed. We see benefits beyond the political in keeping the ties between those who produce food and those who need it.
Moreover, we have serious disagreement with Title I of the legislation the House will consider today. We should not miss the opportunity to work towards meaningful reform of agricultural policy that is more market oriented and less costly to the American taxpayer. Additionally we oppose the move to repeal the 1949 permanent farm bill law. The actions surrounding the deliberation of this farm bill prove that the Congress must have some mechanism to force action.
While we disagree with the policies of the legislation and are dismayed with the process that leads us to this sad situation, we see no other way to move the farm bill to a conference with the Senate unless the House approves the bill before it today.
We urge members of the House to approve the bill and we expect immediate action by a conference committee to secure a five year farm bill we can support. However, our action in no way reflects our approval of its contents or the manner in which it came to the floor. Unless significant change is made to the bill in the conference committee, we will strongly urge its rejection by the Senate and the House.