House Defeats Farm Bill

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Concerns over cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and overall spending, sunk the 2013 Farm Bill in the House of Representatives. The bill failed 195 to 234, with every Democratic member of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation voting against the bill. Pennsylvania Republicans Scott Perry, Pat Meehan, Bill Shuster, Keith Rothfus, and Joseph Pitts also voted against the bill. American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman expressed disappointment following the bill’s defeat. “It was a balanced bill that would have provided much needed risk management tools and a viable economic safety net for America’s farmers and ranchers,” Stallman said. An amendment to the Farm Bill that would have added new work requirements of individuals receiving food assistance siphoned Democratic support from the bill and some Republican lawmakers also sought more reform, AFBF said. Members of the Senate previously adopted their own versions of the Farm Bill, a bipartisan move that cut spending but also gave strong safety net and risk management tools to farmers. Prior to the House vote on Thursday, several news agencies reported the President was considering a veto of the bill because of cuts to food assistance.