January 28, 2020

Bloomberg Video: How Will Farm Bill Defeat Affect Food Prices?

Categories: Farm Bill

From Bloomberg News, June 24- “Societe Generale Head of Agricultural Research Chris Narayan discusses the impact of the failure to pass the Farm Bill on Bloomberg Television’ ‘Market Makers.'”


Video: Senate Majority Leader Reid Discusses Farm Bill on Floor

Categories: Farm Bill

On the Senate floor today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) highlighted the Farm Bill and noted that, “I want everyone within the sound of my voice, as well as my colleagues on the other side of the Capitol, to know that the Senate will not pass another temporary Farm Bill extension.”

Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“I have often said that Speaker Boehner has one of the toughest jobs in Washington. That was obvious last week, when the House Republican caucus revolted to defeat the Speaker’s farm bill. Even though the Speaker took the unusual step of announcing his support for the measure ahead of the vote, the bill still went down in flames. It was the first time the House of Representatives had voted down a farm bill since the program was created.

“I admit I was disappointed to hear House Republican leadership blame the bill’s defeat on Democrats. It was no surprise House Democrats opposed this mean-spirited bill. The legislation cut $20 billion from the safety net that keeps millions of Americans, including millions of children, from going hungry each year. The House farm bill eliminated 8 billion meals for hungry American families and children. So it’s no surprise Democrats didn’t vote for legislation that balanced the budget on the backs of America’s most vulnerable citizens.

“We’ve seen this film before. The Speaker can’t jam through legislation that amounts to a partisan love note to the Tea Party. Eventually he’ll be forced to take up a more bipartisan measure. But there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. The Senate has done the hard work already.

“The Speaker should dispense with the drama and the delay, and take up the Senate farm bill now. The bill passed on an overwhelming, bipartisan vote in this chamber.

“Passing the Senate farm bill would create jobs while reducing the deficit by $23 billion. And it would make important reforms to both farm and Food Stamp programs without balancing the budget on the backs of hungry Americans.

“I’ve spoken to Secretary Vilsack and we agree that maintaining the status quo is not an option. Doing nothing means no reform, no deficit reduction and no certainty for America’s 16 million farm-industry workers. I want everyone within the sound of my voice – as well as my colleagues on the other side of the Capitol – to know that the Senate will not pass another temporary farm bill extension. It is time for real reform that protects both rural farm communities and families who need a little extra help feeding their children.

“If the Speaker took up the Senate’s bipartisan measure, it would easily pass the House with both Republican and Democratic votes. There’s no shame in passing a bill that moderates from both parties support.

“We’ve seen time and again that the Tea Party’s my-way-or-the-highway approach to legislating doesn’t work. The only way to pass a bill in either the House or the Senate is to do so with votes from both Democrats and Republicans. The Senate farm bill passed with 66 votes in this chamber. It was the perfect example of a bipartisan bill. The Speaker should allow a vote on this measure in the House.

“The immigration reform bill before the Senate is another fine example of bipartisan legislation. This bill will pass with votes from both Democrats and Republicans. And, when immigration reform passes the Senate, the Speaker should bring it up for a vote in the House of Representatives as well.

“Rather than twisting the arms of Tea Party extremists, just work with moderates from both parties to pass bipartisan legislation. And rather than trying to force legislation designed to please only the right wing, my friend the Speaker should just take the easy way out.”

Leader Reid also tweeted about the Farm Bill today:


Video Clip: How the Farm Bill Failed, Mike Allen Reports

Categories: Farm Bill

Video clip from Politico featuring brief remarks from Mike Allen on the Farm Bill.


Video: Rep. Ryan Discusses Farm Bill on MSNBC “Morning Joe”

Categories: Farm Bill

Today on the “Morning Joe” television program (MSNBC), Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) provided his version of what happened on the Farm Bill vote last week, a video clip is available below.

Rep. Ryan noted that the Democrats did not deliver the 40 votes they promised in support of the Bill.

The former GOP Vice-Presidential candidate also stated that, “the Farm Bill should be there for family farmers,” implying that this currently is not happening. However, over 95% of farms in the U.S. are family owned operations.

He also made the argument that the commodity title and nutrition title should be separated and considered individually.

Rep. Ryan did not mention that on the House floor on Thursday, just before the vote on the Farm Bill, Ag Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D., Minn.) explained that a GOP amendment that was offered (the Southerland amendment regarding food stamps), “breaks the deal that we had and is offensive in the way that it treats the unemployed in this country.”

Rep. Ryan did not discuss the fact that an amendment to a bill changes a bill.

And, David Hawkings noted yesterday at Roll Call Online that, “Republicans bemoaned the fact that Democrats delivered only 24 votes after promising at least 40. But even if those extra 16 votes had ended up in the ‘yes’ column, the legislation still would have fallen short.”

Also, Mike Barnicle asked Rep. Ryan a question about paying farmers “not to grow crops.”

There is no Title I program that fits that description.

Under the Conservation Reserve Program, “In exchange for a yearly rental payment, farmers enrolled in the program agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality.”

“The long-term goal of the program is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat,” USDA has explained.

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Farm Bill; Appropriations; Immigration; and, the Ag Economy

Farm Bill

On Friday, Ag Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (R., Minn.) was a guest on The Mike McFeely Show (KFGO Radio, Fargo, N.D.) where he discussed Farm Bill issues.  An audio replay of the discussion is available here, while a transcript of Friday’s interview can be found here.

Rep. Peterson noted that, “Well, there’s always hope. We have not come to a conclusion about what to do. There’s been some ideas thrown out. And some people were getting pretty excited yesterday and about ready to blow everything up. And I was on the phone and got most everybody calmed down, I think.

“So, you know, there was some talk about bringing the Senate bill up in the House. I have a problem with that. I’ve got problems with some of the Senate bill, and that’s what the conference committee is for, to deal with that.”

More specifically, Rep. Peterson indicated that, “I think the best solution that I can come up with is to take the House Agriculture Committee bill, which was bipartisan, which had over 50 votes from the Democrats—[Steny Hoyer] thought there were 70. I don’t think there were that many. But there were clearly enough votes, along with the Republicans, to pass what came out of the committee. Bring that bill to the Rules Committee and put it on the floor, it’ll pass and get to conference. I think that’s the best solution, if people are willing to do it.”

He added that, “And then, you know, we had made a deal on food stamps where I agreed to more cuts than we had considered last year, but I thought we had a deal that there weren’t going to be any other…that we were going to stand together to oppose any other changes in the food stamp area, but that’s not what happened. And three amendments got approved, that each one of them peeled off more support, so we got down to 24 votes, and that wasn’t enough…[S]o we’re going to go back to the drawing board. I talked to Lucas yesterday and tried to figure out some way we can bring this thing back, get it passed, get it into conference. We haven’t worked for four years to give up now, so we’re going to keep plugging.”

With respect to one of the amendments regarding SNAP, the “Southerland amendment,” Rep. Peterson stated: “On this Southerland amendment, which was the one that broke the camel’s back, this is a Cantor deal, and he actually got up and spoke on this right before they [handed] the deal, which really torqued everybody off. All of the people, the 61 people that voted against the bill voted for that amendment, and no Democrats.”

In the remainder of the interview, Rep. Peterson discussed more Farm Bill issues and other political variables.

A transcript of the House floor debate regarding the “Southerland amendment,” from the Congressional Record, is available here.