The House Agriculture Committee passed their farm bill early Thursday morning, H.R. 6083, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2012 passed by a vote of 35-11. The plan reduces spending by $35 billion including $16.5 billion cut from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The Senate farm bill reduces spending by $23 billion with $4.5 billion cut from SNAP.
The bill now goes to the full House, the timetable for that is uncertain.
House Ag Committee Chair Frank Lucas issued a statement: “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.”
Ranking Member Collin Peterson stated: “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.”