Having moved now through final passage in both houses of Congress, the latest version of a comprehensive Farm Bill goes to President Barack Obama’s desk where a signature is expected and the bill will become law.
Both Ohio Senators – Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown – voted in favor of passage. To see how Ohio members of the House voted last week, click here.
The end of a long journey is near. This latest Farm Bill’s movement through Congress began in 2012. At various times it has been held along the way by varied issues from food stamps to the dairy program. The bill will do away with most direct payments to farmers, instead relying on a revamped system of federally supported crop insurance.
“The Farm Bill is more than just a long-term policy on agriculture; it’s a jobs bill; it’s a food and nutrition bill; it’s an investment in rural communities, and it provides certainty for American farmers and producers,” Brown said. “For three years, I have fought for passage of a bill that balances the need for reform while making smart investments in conservation, nutrition, renewable energy, and rural development programs. This bill achieves that balance. By streamlining programs, reducing regulatory hurdles, and replacing direct farm payments with market-based supports, we now have a system that is more responsive to farmers’ needs and more responsible to taxpayers.”
“Family farmers and ranchers have always been willing to roll up their sleeves and do the hard work that is needed to feed, fuel and clothe our nation and our world. It is only fitting that this legislation inspired Congress to do the hard work necessary to come together and pass a comprehensive, bipartisan five-year farm bill that enacts meaningful reforms and provides an effective safety net for farmers and needy Americans alike,” said National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson.
“One of the best ways that President Obama could expand opportunities for working families, including the 16 million Americans employed in the agriculture industry, would be to sign the single piece of legislation that benefits every sector of our economy,” Johnson added.