House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013, by a large, bipartisan vote of 36-10.
“I am proud of the Committee’s effort to advance a farm bill with significant savings and reforms. We achieve nearly $40 billion in savings by eliminating outdated government programs and reforming others. No other committee in Congress is voluntarily cutting money, in a bipartisan way, from its jurisdiction to reduce the size and scope of the federal government. I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues and the bipartisan nature in which this legislation was written and approved. I look forward to debating the bill on the House floor this summer,” said Chairman Frank Lucas.
“I’m pleased the Committee was able to work together, find some common ground, and advance a five-year farm bill today. Needless to say this process has gone on far too long and it is past time to get this bill done. With today’s action, I’m optimistic the farm bill will continue through regular order and be brought to the House floor in June. If we can stay on track, I think we should be able to conference with the Senate in July and have a new five-year farm bill in place before the August recess,” said Ranking Member Collin Peterson.
- FARRM saves nearly $40 billion in mandatory funds, including the immediate sequestration of $6 billion.
- FARRM repeals or consolidates more than 100 programs.
- FARRM eliminates direct payments, which farmers received regardless of market conditions.
- FARRM streamlines and reforms commodity policy while also giving producers a choice in how best to manage risk.
- FARRM includes the first reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) since the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, saving more than $20 billion.
- FARRM consolidates 23 conservation programs into 13, improving program delivery to producers and saving more than $6 billion.
- FARRM builds on previous investments to fruit and vegetable production, farmers markets, and local food systems.
- FARRM includes several regulatory relief measures to help mitigate burdens farmers, ranchers, and rural communities face.
“The House Agriculture Committee today approved its version of the 2013 Farm Bill. That bill joins the version approved on Tuesday by the Senate Agriculture Committee. This provides a great reason for optimism we will have a new long-term farm bill this year. That belief is further supported by the fact that the bills are more striking in their similarities than in their differences,” said Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation.