What is in this article?:
- Farm organizations praise Senate farm bill
- Texas Farm Bureau
- Bipartisan farm bill pleases farm organizations.
- Next step is action in the house.
- TFB disappointed with Texas Senators Cornyn and Cruz.
Farm organizations across the country welcome the U.S. Senate’s overwhelming, bipartisan passage of the farm bill—the Federal Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013.
Now they await action from the House of Representatives, which may not come as easily, and then a compromise, which may be more contentious still. The full House is scheduled to consider the legislation the week of June 17.
House leadership is hopeful. House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., hopes to offer President Obama a bill to sign by the August recess. “(The) Senate vote brings us one step closer to having a new, five-year farm bill in place this year,” Peterson said. “Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Cochran did an excellent job, and I applaud their leadership.
“This process has gone on far too long but with the strong bipartisan support in the Senate, I’m optimistic the House will be able to consider our farm bill next week. It’s going to be difficult but if everything stays on track, I believe it’s possible to get a bill to the President before the August recess, finally providing some certainty for our farmers, ranchers and consumers.”
Major farm organizations applaud the effort.
A statement from The National Cotton Council expressed appreciation for “the timely action by the U.S. Senate in approving the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013 by a 66-27 vote. The NCC also applauded “the strong leadership of Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Ranking Member Thad Cochran, R-Miss.
“The Senate approval of this farm bill is an important step toward providing producers with critically important predictability and tools to manage risk,” NCC Chairman Jimmy Dodson, a South Texas cotton producer, said. “Producers and their lenders need sound, long-term farm programs to sustain investments and to make market-oriented decisions.”
He said the cotton provisions in the Senate’s bill offer significant reform with a greater focus on risk management, while at the same time contributing budget savings to deficit reduction. The policies in the Senate’s farm bill are consistent with recommendations sought by the Brazilian and U.S. cotton industries and should provide a basis on which the United States and Brazil can negotiate a permanent solution to the World Trade Organization case.
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“National Sorghum Producers applauds the hard work done by the Senate Ag Committee and the entire chamber delegation to successfully pass its version of the farm bill,” said Terry Swanson, NPS chairman and a farmer from southeast Colorado.
“As attention turns to the House, we are to the point where we need to work together to get a farm bill across the finish line. This has been a long, tough process, but we look forward to working with our members of Congress in the coming weeks to bring this bill to its completion.”
National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) President Bing Von Bergen, a farmer from Moccasin, Mont., also praised the Senate’s work. “NAWG and the wheat growers we represent in every region of the country applaud the Senate for passing its version of the farm bill Monday on a 66 to 27 vote.”
Von Bergen also noted the contribution a strong farm program will have on the U.S. economy, including “support for more than 16 million U.S. jobs. Importantly, the bill passed today cuts $24 billion over existing spending.”
He also welcomed the bipartisan support of the bill. “It has become a rare day when leaders of the two parties come together on truly bipartisan legislation,” he said. “We are grateful Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Cochran were so committed to bringing their caucuses together to ensure our growers have strong farm policy over the next five years. We are hopeful progress will continue and a new farm and food law can be signed by Sept. 30.”