Today Congressman Kevin Cramer announced the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture has approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013. The five-year, bipartisan bill includes nearly $40 billion in savings, strengthens and provides options for crop insurance, consolidates programs, and reforms the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
"We had a great outcome in the Agriculture Committee today with agreement by Republicans and Democrats on a five-year Farm Bill. The agriculture community is setting the standard for responsible budgeting, achieving modest spending reductions by conducting a detailed review of existing programs. I have assurances from leadership the Farm Bill will be brought to the House floor for a vote, and I intend to hold their feet to the fire on this," Cramer said.
Unlike the Senate Farm Bill, the House version does not tie crop insurance to compliance with conservation programs. Additionally, the House bill saves $6 billion by consolidating duplicative conservation programs and streamlining the delivery of incentive funds to farmers, ranchers, and landowners.
"The voluntary, incentive-based method of encouraging conservation in the House bill is the right approach. Farmers in North Dakota do not need Washington instructing them on how to farm and care for their land. Ensuring crop insurance is decoupled from conservation programs is a top priority for our farmers and ranchers," Cramer added.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is reformed in the Farm Bill for the first time since 1996, saving more than $20 billion. The bill reduces expenditures by enforcing eligibility requirements and eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse, while increasing resources available to successful nutrition programs including food bank assistance and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for school children.
Cramer continues to regularly discuss progress on the Farm Bill with Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson, and last month confirmed with them May 15 as the date of the bill's mark up.