Posted June 24, 2013
The House debated their version of the Farm Bill (H.R. 1947) last week, which after debate on over 100 amendments was voted down on the floor. At this point last year the House allowed the bill to expire and Congress put forward an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, which expires at the end of this Fiscal Year. However, AP reported today that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says his chamber won’t pass an extension this year, putting the pressure on the House to find a way to pass the Farm Bill this year.
Posted June 21st, 11:00 am PST
Contact: Jessy Gill, Community Food and Justice Coalition at email@example.com or 510-547-1547
Farm Bill Fails in the House: Fight Continues for a Fair and Equitable Farm Bill.
Oakland, CA—Yesterday the House voted down the Farm Bill with a vote of 195-234. This failure to pass the bill demonstrates the House Republican leadership’s inability to secure enough support and votes from both sides of the political aisle.
Democrats did not agree with the deep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), resulting in Democrats resoundingly voting against the House’s version of the Farm Bill. At the same time, sixty-two Republicans voted against H.R. 1947 (the House Farm Bill), arguably because many believed that the cuts to SNAP did not go far enough.
The House bill proposed $2 billion in cuts to SNAP funding per year, $20.5 billion over 10 years, which would, among other things, prohibit 2 million Americans from receiving benefits, and eliminate school lunches for 210,000 school children.
“It is unacceptable and unconscionable that our Representatives would consider cutting billions in funding that provides American families with food. This bill would have grievously hurt low-income Americans. SNAP funding should be restored,” said Y. Armando Nieto, CFJC Executive Director.
CFJC thanks its D.C. partners and partners across the country who work tirelessly to build a fair and equitable Farm Bill. We also want to thank those who reached out to their Representatives to urge them to pass a fair Farm Bill.
Many positive amendments that support communities and socially disadvantaged farmers did not even make it to the House floor for debate, but they and other measures were championed by Representatives, including Barbara Lee (D-CA), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), and especially James McGovern (D-MA).
CFJC, along with our partners, will continue to work with these and other Congressional champions to push for increased funding for and the continuation of critical programs such as the 37 stranded and others that benefit beginning farmers, families, and our local communities. And although it is unclear as to what the next steps for the Farm Bill will be, CFJC urges constituents to continue to reach out to their Representatives and let their voices be heard on this issue: “The fight is not over,” Y. Armando Nieto.
PDF version of CFJC’s Press Release
Posted June 20th, 1:00 pm PST
Jessy Gill, CFJC Policy Specialist
Last year the 2012 Farm Bill was passed through the Senate Agriculture Committee, the House Agriculture Committee, and the full Senate. The bill was held up when House leadership refused to take it to the floor. The 2008 Farm Bill ultimately expired in September 2012, and was extended in the New Year.
This year, the now 2013 Farm Bill went through a similar process, but was introduced to the House floor for debate this week, the last step until the two versions of the bill are worked out in Conference. Today, just two hours ago, the House version of the Farm Bill was voted on, and failed on the floor with a vote of 195-234 (see voting record of the final vote).
In preparation for the debate, 227 amendments were sponsored and submitted to the Rules Committee. 102 amendments were selected to move forward, and be introduced to the floor for debate. Many amendments crafted by our partners were left out of the final 102 selection, while many that CFJC stood in strong opposition of were selected for debate, and over the past 24 hours voted on and included in the (now dead) House bill. Many of these amendments were very damaging to the SNAP program, and an attack on our country’s poorest.
It is too soon to report the exact politics behind the failure of the House Farm Bill. What we do know is that this action is very unusual, and sends a strong statement from our Democratic Representatives: They will not stand for such provisions that further erode our nation’s safety nets.
After two years of working through the reauthorization process, CFJC will continue to represent our members, our farmland, our farmers, and our hungriest families and children at the policy table. CFJC will work to give us, the American people, a fair and equitable Farm Bill. Although we are unsure of the process as of yet, you can be sure that CFJC will bring your voice to the table.
CFJC statement and press release soon to come, stay tuned.