Dingell Statement on Farm Bill Reauthorization
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI12) released the statement below following House passage of the Conference Report on H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013, or Farm Bill:
“While this long overdue measure is not perfect, it is a step in the right direction, and we are seeing to it that the important business of our nation is adequately addressed by Congress. This Farm Bill is years overdue and passage of this legislation represents a return to regular order. This Farm Bill has some shortcomings, including changes to the SNAP program which give me great pause. But this legislation represents a compromise and I’m pleased that the draconian cuts to SNAP in the earlier House-passed version of the Farm Bill have been removed. However, on balance this legislation improves conservation, provides funding for exciting new nutrition programs, and gives farmers real risk management tools.
“I am pleased to see that direct payments have been eliminated, and I am encouraged that the crop insurance program has been strengthened to give farmers a responsible risk management tool. For the first time ever, conservation compliance will be linked to the receipt of crop insurance payments, and this advancement will not only bring further stability to the program but will also help in assisting our ongoing efforts to preserve this planet for future generations. Conservation programs at USDA are among the most important provisions in the Farm Bill, and I am pleased that these programs have been strengthened.
“I want to thank my dear friend Senator Debbie Stabenow for her incredible leadership on this issue and for helping craft this compromise that will benefit our great state of Michigan. Let us hope that Congress can continue to make compromises on other critical issues that face us as we have done with the Farm Bill today.”