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Farm Bill Reduces the Deficit While Also Offering Strong Risk Management Tools for Farmers, Ranchers and Reforming Food Stamps

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Washington, January 29, 2014 | comments

Congressman K. Michael Conaway (R-Texas) released the following statement about the passage of the Farm Bill:

“We have produced a fiscally responsible Farm Bill that spends $23 billion less than the 2008 Farm Bill and provides a strong set of risk management tools for our farmers and ranchers, while also taking a step in the right direction on the Food Stamp program.

“The largest portion of the deficit reduction comes from eliminating the Direct Payments that provided farmers with support regardless of if they planted a crop and replacing them with risk management tools that farmers can rely on when they suffer losses.  Especially important to Texas is livestock disaster aid for ranchers affected by severe drought.  This aid will be in place going forward, but also covers losses from 2012 and 2013.  As the Chairman of the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee, I am pleased with the product that we have produced for farmers and taxpayers.

“The bill includes a new pilot program that will allow 10 states to implement work requirements for able-bodied adults.  This initiative would give individuals dignity by helping them move from dependence to self-sufficiency and independence.  Republicans in Congress and specifically those on the House Agriculture Committee will build on this pilot program to create a Food Stamp program that is as focused on encouraging work as it is on providing temporary assistance.     

“The bill should have included two additional provisions: one offered by me and Congressman Jim Costa’s, D-Calif., to repeal the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) regulations, and a second offered by Congressman Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, to make Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements compliant with our trade commitments.  Congressman Costa and I offered our GIPSA provision to reverse a blatant abuse of the regulatory process in implementing the 2008 farm bill.  I will continue my efforts to get both the GIPSA and COOL provisions enacted into law.

 “Finally, I want to congratulate Chairman Lucas.  He did a great job overcoming many challenges during the several years we have worked on this Farm Bill and maintained the patience of Job despite the obstinance of our Senate colleagues. ”

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