U.S. Representative Glenn "GT' Thompson, chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy and Forestry, today released the following statement regarding efforts in Congress to pass a long-term farm bill reauthorization.
On Thursday, the House passed, 216 -208, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM) Act (H.R. 2642), an overhaul of agriculture spending programs that will save $20 billion.
"This week the House took an important step forward with passage of the FARRM Act, a comprehensive reform of farm bill programs that will create a more cost‐effective and market‐oriented framework of agriculture policies," stated Thompson. "The majority in the House demonstrated leadership by passing a bill that will save us over $20 billion and ensure that Americans continue to have a safe and affordable food supply."
H.R. 2642 does not include Title IV of the Committee-passed legislation, which contained significant reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, totaling an additional $20 billion in savings. These provisions will be considered separately by the House in the coming weeks. The current SNAP program has not been affected by H.R. 2642.
"The American people deserve a transparent and open debate over agriculture and nutrition programs, both of which are in dire need of reform," Thompson added.
Passage of the FARRM Act marks the beginning stages of a conference between the House and Senate. The Senate passed its version of the farm bill in June.
"We have an opportunity to achieve significant cost savings for the taxpayer and bring agriculture spending in line with budget realities," Thompson said. "I look forward to working with colleagues in the House and Senate on a final package so that we can enact these common sense reforms into law."
The FARRM Act also replaces the current underlying permanent farm law, written in 1938 and 1949, with H.R. 2642, and makes it the new permanent law.