Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the House voted on H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013. The bill was defeated on the House floor by a vote of 195-234 on Thursday. Cole supported the bill that was introduced by fellow Oklahoman and Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (OK-03).
Passage of FARRM would have saved taxpayers $40 billion by streamlining or eliminating more than 100 programs administered by the USDA, including direct payments to farmers.
"I am disappointed that the House failed to vote in favor of this vital piece of legislation and prevented needed reform to agriculture programs and spending," said Cole. "Chairman Lucas along with members of the House Committee on Agriculture worked tirelessly over the last four years to produce a bill that makes significant reductions to spending while protecting necessary programs. After more than 40 hearings and even a two-year audit of every program, there is no excuse for this failure.
"This bill laid out $40 billion in budget savings, which is more than any other committee has offered yet. Due to this unfortunate failure, savings will only amount to the $6 billion already set to take effect from sequestration.
"I commend Chairman Lucas for directing this piece of legislation, reviewing numerous programs and recommending necessary yet difficult funding cuts. Yesterday's vote represents a missed opportunity for my House colleagues, the Americans we all represent and the road to economic recovery. This result is inexcusable."