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House Passes a “Farm Only” Farm Bill, First Time in 50 Years

For the first time in nearly 50 years, the House of Representatives passed a stand-alone, five year farm bill that specifically addresses the nation’s farm and agriculture needs. H.R. 2642 contains crop insurance and conservation provisions as well as repeals outdated agriculture laws dating back to 1949. Representative Brad Wenstrup supported final passage.

“This bill is an important piece of reform for Ohio farmers and Ohio taxpayers. Splitting agriculture programs and nutritional programs into two separate votes allows Congress to fairly evaluate the merits of both. Furthermore, other reforms include $20 billion in savings over the next 10 years and streamlining, repealing or consolidating over 100 government programs.”

In June, an earlier version of the Farm Bill, H.R. 1947, failed on the house floor. The previous bill cost nearly $1 trillion over the next ten years, with only 20 cents of every dollar going towards agricultural programs and the remaining 80 percent, roughly $750 billion, going towards nutrition programs.

“With this vote, we eliminate outdated farm policy dating back to 1949, eliminate the direct payment program, and provide farmers the certainty they need for the planting season. This is by no means a perfect bill, and I still support stronger market-oriented policies for certain commodity programs, including sugar. However, the opportunity to split this legislation after 50 years and vote on a farm only farm bill cannot be ignored. I additionally look forward to voting on a separate bill that will substantially reform our nutrition programs in the coming months.”