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Agricultural News

Farm Bill is Defeated on House Floor- Lucas Looking at Options to Complete Farm Policy Process

Thu, 20 Jun 2013 16:05:42 CDT

Farm Bill is Defeated on House Floor- Lucas Looking at Options to Complete Farm Policy Process In a historic vote, the US House defeated the 2013 Farm Bill by a substantial 39 vote margin. The final vote was 195 voting in favor of the farm bill and 234 opposing the five year package. Democrats were clearly angry with the final recorded vote of the day, which would apply federal welfare work requirements to the food stamp program (SNAP) at state option. This amendment, offered by Southerland of Florida, was approved by a straight party line vote. In the debate, ranking member Collin Peterson mentioned that this was "breaking a deal" when it came to nutrition. He clearly was a prophet just ahead of the final vote.

The Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas released the following statement after the vote was concluded:

"On this day, on this vote, the House worked its will. I'm obviously disappointed, but the reforms in H.R. 1947- $40 billion in deficit reduction, elimination of direct payments and the first reforms to SNAP since 1996 - are so important that we must continue to pursue them. We are assessing all of our options, but I have no doubt that we will finish our work in the near future and provide the certainty that our farmers, ranchers, and rural constituents need."

Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the House Minority Whip, blamed the last vote of the day regarding SNAP, as a draconian measure that simply made the Farm Bill too partisan for most Democrats, thus the low number that were willing to vote in favor of final passage. Hoyer calls the result (defeat of the Farm Bill) disappointing to consumers and to farmers. Eric Cantor, in responding to Hoyer, defended the Southerland amendment as needed reform of SNAP policy. Hoyer fired back that it was a bi-partisan bill that Republicans turned into a partisan issue. Hoyer blames the defeat of the farm bill the 62 Republicans that voted against the bill. Hoyer challenged Cantor to bring the bill back and told him that he thought it would be approved a second time around.

Click here for the roll call for the Farm Bill vote.

Before the final vote, Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Frank Lucas, warned that if the bill was defeated, it would likely not be coming back to the floor the rest of this Congress.

As he finished, members of Congress offered their thanks by applauding the Chairman.

Early reaction from farm groups is disbelief , disappointment and anger.

Here are the comments from Congressman Lucas. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear them


Frank Lucas offers his final plea for a yes vote.
right-click to download mp3


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