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Friday, 21 June 2013 14:36

House fails to approve 2013 Farm Bill

(AREA) -- Michigan Farm Bureau is disappointed in the U.S. House of Representatives' failure to approve its version of the 2013 farm bill, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013. MFB President Wayne Wood of Marlette says the bill would have benefited farmers by transitioning away from direct payments, placing a greater reliance on enhanced risk management tools, including expanded crop insurance options for specialty crops. Wood says the balanced bill would have also provided significant budget savings to taxpayers and is needed to provide farmers certainty, while giving consumers price and supply stability at the grocery store.

Congresswoman Candice Miller commented on the bills' defeat. "I am disappointed that this bill went down to defeat in a bipartisan way - many Republicans did not think $40 billion of cuts and reforms were enough; and nearly every Democrat would not vote for any bill that contained sensible cuts and reforms to our nation's generous food stamp program. America needs a farm bill; we cannot walk away from our agricultural heritage. Although the path forward is as clear as mud, I am committed to working together to achieve a balanced approach towards securing our food supply and making positive improvements to our agricultural industry in a fiscally responsible way. I think separating the agricultural portion of the bill from nutrition programs should be among the considered options."

The current farm bill expires at the end of September following a 9-month extension approved in January 2013, when the House failed to move last year's farm bill proposal to the full floor for a vote.