Statements from Chair Lucas & Ranking Member Peterson...
After a day of debate and votes on amendments on Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee voted to advance the Farm Bill very early on Thursday morning, on a vote of 35-11. Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn) issued separate statements, hailing the passage of H.R. 6083, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2012 (FARRM), as a crucial step forward.
Lucas praised FARRM as "a balanced, reform-minded, fiscally responsible bill," while Peterson called on House leadership to rapidly bring the measure to the Floor for a full vote to ensure certainty for America's farmers and ranchers. The current Farm Bill expires on September 30, and there are just 13 legislative days left before the August recess.
Click here for a recap of the amendments offered on Wednesday that impact the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka Food Stamps. Downloads: FARRM, Section by Section [PDF]. FARRM Summary [PDF]. The FARRM draft [PDF] The CBO Score [PDF]. A study on the economic impact from Texas A&M University: AFPC Study [PDF].
"Today marked an important step forward in the development of the next farm bill. I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues and the bipartisan nature in which this legislation was written and approved. This is a balanced, reform-minded, fiscally responsible bill that underscores our commitment to production agriculture and rural America, achieves real savings, and improves program efficiency," Lucas said.
"I'm pleased today's markup is behind us and we can continue to move the process forward. The current farm bill expires on September 30 and there only 13 legislative days before the August recess. Simply put, the House leadership needs to bring the farm bill to the floor for a vote. We should not jeopardize the health of our rural economies which, by and large, have remained strong the last few years. Our nation's farmers and ranchers need the certainty of a new five year farm bill and they need it before the current farm bill ends," Peterson said.
Related: Click here for the Farm Bill legislation approved by the Senate in late June.