Farm Bills Approved by Senate, House Agriculture Committees; Chambers to Vote in June
June 4, 2013
Dairy policy reform took two big steps forward in May, when first the Senate Agriculture Committee, then the House Agriculture Committee, approved separate versions of the 2013 Farm Bill, each containing the Dairy Security Act (DSA) supported by NMPF.
Both ag panels tackled farm policy the week of May 13th. The Senate committee finished its work on the 14th, approving a reform-oriented Farm Bill that cut spending by $24 billion. The following day, the House committee worked through dozens of amendments to its own version of the Farm Bill. One of them, offered by Reps. Goodlatte and Scott, would have gutted the DSA by removing its market stabilization component. Members of the committee defeated that amendment by a vote of 26-20.
The dairy industry “needs the stability that the DSA will provide, and we need it now. The House version of the bill is on the right path, and its dairy title now matches the farm bill approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee,” said NMPF President and CEO Jerry Kozak after the House panel finished its work.
The full Senate began consideration of the Farm Bill last week, but it didn’t complete its consideration of amendments prior to recessing for Memorial Day. The bill is now back before the Senate, and committee chairwoman Sen. Debbie Stabenow is pushing for final passage this week. Meanwhile, the full House of Representatives is likely to take up its Farm Bill version during the middle of June.
“We hope that the House Agriculture committee’s decision will be the final word on the matter. It is time for dairy processors to end their campaign of divisiveness, and assist us in moving the farm bill toward completion,” Kozak said.
Farmers can contact their elected officials to support the Dairy Security Act.