WASHINGTON, July 11, 2013- In a letter to House members, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) outlined its reasons to oppose a farm bill split from the Nutrition Title.
The House is expected to vote this morning on a revamped farm bill (H.R. 2642) that would exclude the nutrition title and repeal a major stronghold for agricultural interests, the 1949 and 1938 permanent law.
In its letter, AFBF said the “marriage” between nutrition and the agriculture community “has been an effective, balanced arrangement for decades.”
Also today, the conservative Heritage Action group asked members to oppose the bill and said it would include H.R.2642 as a key vote on its legislative scorecard.
“Although the bill does not contain the $750 billion in food stamp spending like the previous FARRM Act, it does nothing to make “meaningful reforms” to America’s farm policy. Even worse, the bill would make permanent farm policies – like the sugar program – that harm consumers and taxpayers alike,” according to Heritage Action.
More than 500 agriculture and rural groups signed a letter last week asking Congress not to split the bill. The letter urged House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to bring a full farm bill to the floor, although the House voted down a comprehensive farm bill last month with a 234-195 vote.
AFBF’s letter sent to House members today said the farm organization is concerned that “it will prove nearly impossible” to adopt a farm bill that can be conferenced with the Senate and approved by the President without a nutrition title.
“It is frustrating to our members that this broad coalition of support for passage of a complete farm bill appears to have been pushed aside in favor of interests that have no real stake in this farm bill, the economic vitality and jobs agriculture provides or the customers farmers and ranchers serve,” the letter states.
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