House Agriculture Committee Passes Its Version of the Farm Bill

Last night (early this morning) the House Agriculture Committee passed its version of the Farm Bill (HR 6083) by a bi-partisan vote of 35 Y – 11 N. The 11 Republican and Democrat committee members voting against the bill were: GOP Reps. Bob Goodlatte (VA), Marlin Stutzman (IN), Bob Gibbs (OH) and Tim Huelskamp (KS.); and Democratic Reps. Joe Baca (CA.), David Scott (GA.), Chellie Pingree (ME), Joe Courtney (CT), Marcia Fudge (OH), Terri Sewell (AL) and Jim McGovern (MA). The two primary motivating factors for the NO votes were budgetary objections and the $16.5 billion dollar cut to the SNAP program, formerly known as food stamps.
This $957 billion bill maintains critical funding levels for our industry priorities including the Specialty Crop Block Grants, Specialty Crop Research Initiative, National Clean Plant Network, the Market Access Program (MAP), and Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG). While a victory for Chairman Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Member Peterson (D-MN), Chairman Lucas will now have to push House Republican leadership to schedule a floor vote with only 13 legislative days left before August recess. If the legislation passes on a floor vote, House and Senate conferees will then be named to work on a compromise between the two versions of the bill.
For more information contact WineAmerica’s Director of Government Affairs Jennifer Montgomery at jmontgomery@wineamerica.org