U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) issued the following statement after voting for, and the House passed, H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM Act):
"For the first time in 40 years, the farm bill is true to its name. With the massive welfare section taken out, the legislation is finally about farm policy and not unrelated government spending. With this approach, the House is setting a new standard in American politics: welfare policy should not be passed on the backs of our farmers. The men and women who work every day to put food our on our tables deserve the certainty and stability of a legislative process and final bill focused on agriculture issues.
"Furthermore, this bill would enact the most significant reforms to U.S. farm policy in history by consolidating dozens of programs and implementing a new approach to spending that puts a premium on respecting taxpayer dollars. I recognize that this bill is not perfect, but the House has worked in good faith to change the status quo in Washington and respond to the concerns of taxpayers. For farmers and taxpayers, this is the best farm bill in a generation."
Highlights of reforms in the FARRM Act:
· Removes the $743.9 billion welfare benefits package that previously constituted about 80% of the spending in the bill.
· Repeals or consolidates over 100 programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
· Cuts nearly $14 billion in farm policy spending.
· Provides regulatory relief from the Obama Administration by requiring the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies to have sound scientific information before proceeding with regulatory initiatives.