(Posted Thu. Jul 11th, 2013)
July 11: National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson released the following statement in response to the House of Representatives voting on the split version of the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (2013 farm bill):
“The farm bill affects every American; those who eat and those who produce. We view the proposed actions to be taken on the floor of the House today with disappointment. Legislation that for decades has been a bright spot for how our Congress should work – in a bipartisan, bicameral manner – is now stuck in a morass of petty bickering and political gamesmanship. We do not believe that the link between farm programs and nutrition programs should be severed. We see benefits beyond the political in keeping the ties between those who produce food and those who need it.
“Moreover, we have serious disagreement with Title I of the legislation the House will consider today. We should not miss the opportunity to work towards meaningful reform of agricultural policy that is more market oriented and less costly to the American taxpayer. Additionally we oppose the move to repeal the 1949 permanent farm bill law. The actions surrounding the deliberation of this farm bill prove that the Congress must have some mechanism to force action.
“While we disagree with the policies of the legislation and are dismayed with the process that leads us to this sad situation, we see no other way to move the farm bill to a conference with the Senate unless the House approves the bill before it today.
“We urge members of the House to approve the bill and we expect immediate action by a conference committee to secure a five year farm bill we can support. However, our action in no way reflects our approval of its contents or the manner in which it came to the floor. Unless significant change is made to the bill in the conference committee, we will strongly urge its rejection by the Senate and the House.”