The Senate leadership has decided to “fast track” the Farm Bill. They will vote on Monday (02-03) to invoke “cloture” on the Farm Bill. Cloture is an odd term that I’ve only heard regarding the process of the US Senate. It basically means that we (members of the US Senate) have decided to no longer “windbag” the merits or problems of this legislation and we are hereby taking a “blood oath” to actually vote on it.
Insights from the President of ProAg
US House of Representatives this morning (01-29) passed the Farm Bill conference report on a bi-partisan vote of 251-166.
The public activity surrounding the Farm Bill has been near zero since the conference committee first met in October of 2013.
On Friday the 13th of December, the US House of Representatives threw in the towel and essentially called it “good enough” for 2013. So, we again have a “hurry up and wait” situation for ending this Farm Bill ordeal.
We have all heard the phrase known as “the eleventh hour”… It is derived from the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 20 Verse 6. This parable is about a landowner that is hiring laborers to work in his vineyard. He hires some workers at daybreak, some at 9:00 AM or so and finally at “the eleventh hour” he finds some more available laborers hanging around the town square. He asks, “why have you been here standing idle all day?”
Amidst a partial US government shutdown and a robust round of finger pointing on raising the debt ceiling to avoid “default”, the US House of Representatives managed to “agree to go to conference” with the US Senate on the 2013 Farm Bill.
By a 217-210 vote on Thursday afternoon, September 19, the US House of
Representatives voted to cut SNAP spending by $3.9 billion per year.
There were zero Democrats who voted for passage and 15 Republicans
opposed their leadership to vote no. The debate on the House floor was
quite partisan and included the usual shots at other farm programs such
as crop insurance by our opponents.
Thursday brought us news from Washington DC regarding the process of getting a Farm Bill to a conference committee and perhaps ultimately to President Obama for a signature. But let’s not confuse “process” with “progress”.
Despite appeals from over 500 interested and informed parties, the Republican led US House of Representatives passed by a 216-208 vote a reduced version of their 2013 Farm Bill. In the USA, we usually pride ourselves in civil discourse on even tense issues. The Republican leadership’s decision to strip out the Nutrition Title of the Farm Bill found the “tipping point” where usual civil dialogue ends and outrage begins.
Join us for insights from the president of ProAg, Mike Connealy, as he runs through a quick Q&A update from recent conversations. Read his opinions on topics such as the next steps for the House farm bill, why he refers to the Kind Amendment as a ‘poison pill’, and what the outlook for crop year 2013 is.