House Agriculture Committee Passes Farm Bill Reauthorization

Washington, D.C. – Before midnight on Wednesday evening the U.S. House Agriculture Committee passed a 5-year farm bill reauthorization, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM) Act of 2013. U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, chairman of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy & Forestry, voted to support the bipartisan measure which passed by a vote of 36-10.

“The House Agriculture Committee has advanced a package of agriculture reforms that will save taxpayers nearly $40 billion and strengthen the economic health of our family farms and local economies,” stated Rep. Thompson. “The FARRM Act will keep our farmers, and our foresters, profitable by streamlining outdated or duplicative programs and improving the overall effectiveness of federal agriculture policies.”

“I look forward to working with members of the committee to further improve this package through the amendment process on the House floor,” Rep. Thompson said. “I also look forward to working with our Senate colleagues to find consensus on a final reauthorization bill that keeps Pennsylvania agriculture strong and America’s farmers globally competitive.”

“Ultimately, we can no longer allow partisan gridlock to prevent these commonsense reforms from becoming law,” Rep. Thompson added. 

FARRM Act Summary:

  • Achieves $40 billion in savings by streamlining and consolidating agriculture programs.
  • Enacts regulatory relief to help mitigate onerous regulatory mandates and pressures.
  • Includes Thompson proposal expanding forest product markets (click here). 
  • Includes Thompson proposal improving forest management (click here, pg. 459, sec.8006)
  • Streamlines conservation programs to improve user access and effectiveness.
  •  Eliminates direct payments that went to farmers regardless of market conditions.
  • Moves dairy policy away from price supports towards a market-based system.
  • Reforms the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry voted Tuesday to pass similar legislation, which is expected to be considered by the full Senate in late May. The FARRM Act is expected to be considered by the full House later this summer.

Click here to view additional information on the FARRM Act.

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