After a charged and passionate debate this afternoon, the newly abbreviated 2013 Farm Bill narrowly passed 216-208. House leadership was clear that this historic approach was offered only as a path forward in securing a final bill. This is the first time that Title IV, which authorizes the nutrition programs, has been separated from the agriculture portion.
This version includes the 60 amendments that were passed on the House floor in late June not related to nutrition. It also repeals the authorizing 1949 legislation (the original Farm Bill), which seems to suggest an end to the Farm Bill process as we know it if it’s included in the final version.
While this separation is not an ideal solution, Chairman Lucas maintains that this move was the only way to get the Farm Bill passed out of the House and has committed to continue advancing the nutrition programs for inclusion in conference committee. However, the Senate’s bill
does include Title IV, so any differences between the Senate and House versions must be discussed and reconciled during conference, which of course also includes Senator Bennet’s cost share waiver
Passing a comprehensive five-year Farm Bill remains a top priority, and the Alliance deeply appreciates the creativity in both the House and Senate for continuing to support and advance predictability for the conservation easement programs. As soon as the dust settles and the move toward conference begins, I will let you know how you can help achieve a final bill that safeguards this critically important funding.
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