WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives passed a farm-only version of the Farm Bill yesterday by a vote of 216-208.
Mississippi Farm Bureau president Randy Knight said that although this turn of events on the path to a new Farm Bill was unusual, he is glad to see progress finally made on the bill.
“Our farmers needed a Farm Bill passed, and they needed it passed now, in whatever form we could get a safety net,” he said. “Farm Bureau certainly appreciates the work Congressman Nunnelee, Congressman Harper and Congressman Palazzo have done to get this bill passed. I have often visited with these men in Washington, D.C., on issues related to the Farm Bill, and I’ve always been impressed with their willingness to listen to and work with Mississippi farmers. I hope the progress continues, and we have a final product before the Sept. 30 deadline.”
Congressman Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.) released the following statement after passage: “One of the worst things Washington does to our economy is inflict uncertainty. Economic growth is hindered when people do not know what the rules of the road are going to be moving forward. Agriculture helps drive the economic train in Mississippi, so failure to pass an updated Farm Bill would have a particularly negative effect on our state. This legislation provides much needed certainty, eliminates outdated programs, and saves taxpayers billions of dollars.”
The Senate approved its version of the Farm Bill in early June, and the two chambers will now conference to come up with a final version.
U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, said, “I am pleased the House of Representatives has taken action to pass a farm bill. American farmers, ranchers, conservationists and related industries deserve the certainty of a five-year farm bill. I look forward to working with Chairwoman Stabenow and our counterparts from the House to address the differences between the Senate and House farm bills.”