House moves closer to farm bill conference

By Derrick Cain

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2013 - The House took a step today toward a conference on the farm bill by approving legislation (H. Res. 361) that couples its nutrition bill with its farm bill.

The House voted 226-191 to approve the resolution that also would allow for same-day consideration of stop-gap legislation to avoid a federal government shutdown.

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The move combines the House-passed “farm bill-only” farm bill (H.R. 2642) with its nutrition bill (H.R. 3102), which seeks to cut about $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Voting in support of the legislation were 222 Republicans and four Democrats. In opposition were 187 Democrats and four Republicans. Fourteen members did not vote. For the roll call: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll493.xml

Presumably this clears House leadership to appoint conferees in order to work out a deal with the Senate, which approved its farm bill (S. 954) in June. The current farm bill extension expires on Monday.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., railed against the vote, saying many Americans would suffer from the proposed SNAP cuts.

“In the midst of a potential government shutdown, it is a moral outrage that the House majority is pushing through a measure that would deny food to over four million Americans by slashing $40 billion from the food stamp program while spending $90 billion on crop insurance subsidies,” DeLauro said.

In contrast, Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., applauded the move.

“This is another step forward toward conference with the Senate on this critical legislation,” Crawford said. “We must have a full, five-year farm bill in place and I will continue to advance the process forward for the good of Arkansas agriculture.”

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