Johnson says splitting the farm bill would kill it

The president of the National Farmers Union says in order to get a farm bill passed it must not be split.

Some Republican lawmakers say the farm title and nutrition program of the farm bill should be decoupled, especially in light of the House of Representative’s failure to pass a farm bill earlier this month.

But, NFU’s Roger Johnson tells Brownfield Ag News, “Most of those folks who have historically argued for separating this and having different bills are really making it an argument for killing the farm bill and are making an argument to deeply cut nutrition programs.”

Johnson says the risk is having two highly partisan bills come out of the split which he says would disrupt the “historical coalition between urban, rural and conservation groups.”

“You need to have a bill that can be supported on a bipartisan basis or we’re just asking for trouble longer term.”

Johnson says there’s intrinsic value in keeping them together. He tells Brownfield “For generations now, many of us (farmers) complained that people don’t understand where their food comes from. Well, now you want to cut the connection between the nutrition bill in the farm bill because you say it doesn’t have anything to do with farming? I mean, that’s crazy. It has everything to do with farming.”

Johnson argues that it would be impossible for the House to split the farm bill and try to reconcile it with the Senate-passed farm bill to get anything done.

AUDIO: Roger Johnson (10:00 mp3)

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One Comment

Dennis Derner

We don’t need a farm bill to subidize the farmers. The main thing I see with the farm bill it keeps the young farmers from farming because the BIG FARMERS GRAB ALL THE FARM GROUND UP with what ever the cost because if they don’t have time to farm the land they still get full coverage from the insurance that the working public has to subsidize them to pay most of the insurance costs

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