Earlier this week, the U.S. Senate passed their version of the 2013 Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act with a bipartisan vote of 66 to 27. Now the attention turns to the House of Representatives, which should bring the measure to the floor before the end of this month.
On Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced he would support the House’s version of FARRM, drawing praise from some groups and criticism from some within his own party.
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson responded favorably. “It is promising to hear that House leadership is embracing the 2013 Farm Bill and its importance to all Americans,” he says. “I also applaud Reps. Lucas and Peterson for their bipartisan leadership in getting the bill to the floor. In order to provide certainty for U.S. family farmers and ranchers, it is critical that the farm bill continues making progress toward conference and final passage prior to the Sept. 30, deadline.”
“FARRM makes significant, much-needed reforms to agriculture programs, including significant deficit reduction. The farm bill also prevents the necessity for emergency ad hoc disaster programs, which almost always represents deficit spending.
“NFU also supports the bill’s elimination of direct payments. American farmers need a safety net in times of natural disaster and long-term price collapse, not when conditions are more favorable. We will continue to work with members of Congress through the passage in the House and conference process to ensure that we end up with a comprehensive, five-year bill that is the best that it can be.”