By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Congressman Robert Aderholt (R) from Haleyville released a written statement on Thursday after H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013, passed in the United States House of Representatives.
Rep. Aderholt said, “I think most Americans recognize that America’s farmers and ranchers are vital to our nation—they create jobs in our communities, provide food for our tables, and export goods around the world. Though the process may not have been pretty, today’s vote was an important step in the legislative process and giving producers certainty that is vital to the continued health of American agriculture.”
The farm bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives did not include the reform of expensive nutrition programs that the Democrats support. Republicans believe this is costing too much and are creating a cycle of dependency. The Farm bill passed on Thursday by a 216-208 vote.
The House may address the SNAP program in a separate bill later, but that has very little chance of passing the Democratic Party controlled U.S. Senate or being signed by President Obama. More Americans are receiving food stamps than have jobs, according to some recent reporting and that is likely to continue through at least 2014 since SNAP or “Food Stamps” since those programs are “mandatory spending” and will continue as is without an act of Congress.
The House Republican leadership decided to split the farm bill because Republicans were not in agreement over how much that nutrition spending needed to be cut. Fiscal hawks joined Democrats last month to defeat the Republican FARRM Act, because they felt it did not cut SNAP enough.
Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell said in a written statement, “We believe this may be the only option left to get a five-year farm bill passed before the current, extended bill expires in September.
Passage of the split bill will keep the legislation moving forward to a conference committee where differences possibly can be reconciled with the Senate version.” All of Alabama’s Republican Congressmen: Reps. Robert Aderholt, Spencer Bachus, Jo Bonner, Mo Brooks, Martha Roby and Mike Rogers voted in favor of the split House bill. Alabama’s Democratic Congresswoman Terri Sewell joined the rest of the Democrats in the House and voted against the bill. President Parnell said, “We appreciate members of Alabama’s congressional delegation standing with the state’s farmers by voting to move the farm bill forward. It’s critical Congress pass a farm bill this year so farmers can plan for the future.”