House Passes 'Farm-Only' Farm Bill

Flurry of activity wraps up Thursday's Farm Bill action in the House

Published on: Jul 11, 2013

Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., like many other lawmakers, expressed skepticism that the House would not be able to return to the floor to pass a separate food stamp provision. She said the House has "reached a new low" in not being able to pass a farm bill – a traditionally bipartisan piece of legislation.

Though Rep. Lucas said just before a final vote on the bill that he couldn't guarantee the nutrition portion will be brought up immediately, he noted that, "if 218 of us can agree on a nutrition title, we'll ultimately have a product. But I just can't give you the kind of guarantees that you need."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor indicated support for the food portion of the farm bill, adding that Senate and House leadership would be in talks to find a time for conferencing the portion passed Thursday.

Revised positions

Some groups Thursday recanted original positions opposing the farm bill split, noting that if a split is what gets the bill through, they will support it.

National Pork Producers Council CEO Neil Dierks noted that NPPC and 26 affiliates signed on to a letter offered by more than 500 farm groups last week, but were not aware of a change that included a statement of opposition if the nutrition title were split from the House Farm Bill.

"In fact, while removing the nutrition title is an unorthodox approach, NPPC and its affiliates support it if it leads to passage of a new Farm Bill, which is imperative to America's pork producers," Dierks clarified Thursday.

Similarly, the National Corn Growers and the Illinois Corn Growers reluctantly opted to support the split bill. ICGA President Paul Taylor said his organization was disappointed that it must take a position on the farm bill that "has adulterated the bipartisan and bicameral nature of farm bill legislation."

NCGA President Pam Johnson released a similar comment: "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."

The American Farm Bureau and a host of other organizations remained opposed to the split bill, many noting that it could potentially eliminate incentives to write future bills.

Read more on the House Farm Bill
Proposition of Farm Bill Split Has Long Road Ahead
Farm Bill Split Appears on the Horizon
House Dems Introduce Senate Farm Bill
Ag Interests React To House Defeat of Farm Bill
House Rejects Farm Bill 195-234