Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) and her colleagues on the House Agriculture Committee worked late into the night to pass the bi-partisan 2012 Farm Bill by a 35-11 margin. $35 billion in mandatory cuts, the repeal or consolidation of over 100 programs, and an end to direct farm subsidies are the key highlights to the most important food security legislation considered in the past five years.
"The five-year bill approved by the Agriculture Committee saves $14 billion by eliminating direct payment subsidies, replacing them with a new policy designed to only assist producers after a loss caused by severe weather or extreme market value," said Hartzler. "It also begins the process of making critical reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), saving taxpayers more than $16 billion. With the SNAP changes we target waste, fraud, and abuse but we do NOT take one single calorie out of the mouths of children or other needy Americans dependant on this aid. This is a common sense approach to save taxpayer dollars while taking steps toward a more efficient government."
"The bill also addresses the drought that has crops dying and pastures drying up," continued Hartzler. "We have reauthorized targeted livestock disaster programs that provide assistance in times of extreme flood or drought."
"We have produced a common sense bill that protects our food supply while cutting wasteful spending and ending excess subsidies," added Hartzler. "I am optimistic the full House will pass this bill with plenty of time for the House and Senate to iron out the differences in each chambers' version of the Farm Bill prior to the September 30th deadline."
Vicky Hartzler, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, represents Missouri's Fourth District, one of the most rural districts in the country. She and her family live on a working farm in Cass County.