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June 20th, 2013

House Farm Bill Breakdown

Patty Lovera

Food & Water Watch Assistant Director Patty Lovera

By Patty Lovera

This afternoon, the House of Representatives voted on the farm bill – and it failed 195-234. Many Democrats voted against it because of the drastic cuts to food stamps ($20 billion, compared to $4 billion cut in the Senate version) and several amendments adopted on the House floor that made the bill even worse, including allowing states to establish drug test and work requirements for food stamp recipients. More Republicans than expected voted against the bill because they object to the size of government programs for things like crop insurance, dairy support and the sugar program. You can see how your Representative voted here.

While we’ve come to expect drama and dysfunction from the farm bill process, we don’t know anyone who thought it would go this way. The House bill was terribly flawed on a number of fronts. But the failure of the House to pass a bill at all raises the chance that we have to live through another year of an extension of the last farm bill. This isn’t good either because the last extension did not renew a lot of important programs for organic, conservation and beginning farmers.

The big question at this point is whether the House will try again to pass their own version of the bill, vote on the version the Senate already passed, or just stay gridlocked until they have to pass an extension (before September 30). There really isn’t any sense making predictions with this bunch, since they seem intent on doing things that supposedly “never happen” to the farm bill.

So once again…stay tuned for updates.

5 Comments on House Farm Bill Breakdown

  1. Tory Field says:

    Thank you Patty Lovera and Food and Water Watch for your blogs on the farm bill! Ive been relying on it for up-to-date, clear information, and directing many others to it as well.

  2. Gene B says:

    Ditto….Thanks Patty for this clarification.

  3. LeeAnn Young says:

    The Farm Bill failed b/c of the King amendment (http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-a-budget/306637-king-amendment-to-house-farm-bill-ignores-consumer-trends),and it was a good thing. The King amendment is so horrible that we could not let it pas even tho most of the rest of the Farm Bill was good. Many of us who supported and wanted the Farm Bill before the King amendment called our congress persons and asked them to vote NO.

  4. Larry Cresci says:

    The proposed food stamp cuts are crap. the real federal spending problems are the corporate welfare and some of the foreign aid to WEALTHY Countries. In both cases were talking about trillions of dollars.`

  5. Jean McGee says:

    Thank you for this information. I had heard from my own Representative that the bill did not pass. My biggest concerned when it comes to the Farm Bill, is that the people who have the most money for lobbying are the ones who get what they want, not what the country needs and wants! I personally think the farm subsidies should be totally abolished if they do not include the organic and small farmers, who raise foods like fruits and vegetables which we should be eating. I noticed that one Politician/farmer in my own state is advocating that people on food assistance should be subject to drug tests, etc. and he has received over 3 million dollars in farm subsidies and is a factory farmer who may be treating his animals in a very inhumane way.
    Please continue to do good work, Informing us, and trust that the American Public will return back to a common-sense, work together process in our political arena.

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