Today the House of Representatives defeated a farm bill that would have been harmful to sustainable agriculture. H.R. 1947 the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2103 was voted down 195-234. This means that while current funding for farm bill related programs is still in jeopardy—the loss; we may see a more deliberate effort in the near future to create a farm bill that is fair and balanced—the win.
The House farm bill preparation process was woefully flawed and not very transparent. As discussed on Tuesday, the House Rules Committee voted to determine which amendments would be considered “in order.” *SPECULATION ALERT* It seems there were some deals already in play based on which amendments were included for vote. *END SPECULATION ALERT* The House went through the 103 amendments in almost lightning speed. There were too many controversial amendments that really deserved more time for consideration and debate. In the end both democrats and republicans protected the country from a bill that would have eliminated funding for R&D Farm credit and for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program as well as significantly cut SNAP benefits (not to mention the addition of dignity depleting requirements that would have been attached to what was left of the SNAP program).
We will be hosting a conference call soon (most likely the week after July 4th holiday) to discuss next steps and what it means to return to square one. In the meantime, take a look at how your member of Congress voted. Remember the question presented to the House was “should they vote to pass the farm bill as presented?” Those who voted “No” voted gave us time to increase our grassroots efforts. Until next time, share your thoughts with us on Facebook or send us an email.