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What They Are Saying: Congressman Fleming’s Dysfunctional Politics Jeopardizing Farm Bill

BATON ROUGE — With only seven days left until the Farm Bill expires again, Congressman John Fleming’s divisive nutrition-only bill is now seriously endangering a new Farm Bill being signed into law — jeopardizing security and stability for food consumers, as well as thousands of farmers, ranchers and rural families who want Congress to stop standing in the way of solutions to fixing this problem.

“With only seven days left until the Farm Bill expires again, Congressman John Fleming’s dysfunctional Washington politics are seriously jeopardizing a new Farm Bill being signed into law — leaving thousands of farmers and rural families without the security and stability they deserve,” said Kirstin Alvanitakis, communications director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “Instead of hurtling our country towards a total government shutdown, it is past time for Congressman Fleming to stop playing politics with the Farm Bill, stop standing in the way of solutions and finally focus on constructive solutions to fixing this problem.”

See for yourself:

Associated Press: In farm bill negotiations, House and Senate face deep divide over food aid for poor [Associated Press, 9/20/13]

“Farm-state lawmakers hoping for passage of a farm bill by the end of the year will have to bridge a deep divide between the House and the Senate over the role of the government in helping the nation’s poor […] Getting the three bills into a House-Senate conference could be tricky under House rules. Republicans said Thursday that one more step is needed — the House will have to hold a procedural vote to allow both the farm and food stamps bills to go to conference. It is unclear if Republicans who pushed to split the two bills will oppose that effort.”

Delta Farm Press: Vote on SNAP benefits could cost farmers, consumers dearly [Delta Farm Press, 9/19/13]

“The House Republican leadership’s ‘misplaced priorities’ on food stamps are likely to cost farmers and consumers dearly by preventing the House and Senate from conferencing on a new farm bill prior to the end of the government’s fiscal year Sept. 30 […] ‘All this bill (H.R. 3102) is going to do is make it harder, if not impossible, to pass a new farm bill this Congress.’”

Politico: Fate of farm bill far from clear [Politico, 9/20/13]

“The new conventional wisdom is that Thursday’s food stamp vote dashed any chance of getting to a bill this year.”

AgProfessional:  Can a new farm bill get through Congress? [AgProfessional, 9/23/13]

“Getting a compromise farm bill is far from certain. If Congress does proceed to a conference committee, the challenges to get a compromise that can pass both houses of Congress are huge. If the House could not accept a farm bill proposal with spending cuts to the nutrition program of $20 billion over 10 years — it seems unlikely that they would approve a bill with cuts somewhere near the $4 billion contained in the Senate bill.”

LA Politics:  More About Food Stamps Than Food [LaPolitics, 9/18/13]

“Today, Congress seems no closer to a Farm Bill agreement than a year ago and the same expiration date is approaching.”

National Farmers Union: House Nutrition Bill a Hindrance to Passing Farm Bill [National Farmers Union, 9/16/13]

“Separating nutrition programs from the farm bill was a mistake from the very beginning. Consideration of H.R. 3102, a politically charged bill that would hurt those in our society who most need help, unnecessarily complicates the farm bill process […] We urge members of the House to vote down this bill and work together to end the detrimental separation of nutrition programming from farm programs. Passage of H.R. 3102 will only make the already complex farm bill process more difficult.”

American Farm Bureau: House Nutrition Bill Makes Farm Bill Conference More Difficult [American Farm Bureau, accessed 9/18/13]

“Probably bad news in that instead of trying to negotiate the difference between a $20 billion cut that the House had before and $4 billion in the Senate side, now you’re looking at trying to negotiate the difference between $40 billion and $4 billion. So it will make conference and then coming up with something that can come back and pass the House and the Senate probably more difficult. So a little bit hard to say — did we talk a step forward, or a step back?”

 

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