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Farm Bill Moves Out of Committee, Regional Interests Want Floor Vote

WAMC/Pat Bradley

The U.S. House Agriculture Committee late Wednesday night approved the Farm Bill, moving it to the full House for consideration.

The House committee approved the bill a day after a Senate committee moved its version of the Farm Bill forward. The five-year bill funds farm, nutrition and conservation programs. 18th Congressional District representative Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney of the Hudson Valley, a member of the committee, calls it a terrific piece of legislation that will lead to more jobs, a better farm economy and policies that work for farmers.

Maloney adds that it includes crucial provisions for dairy.

NY Farm Bureau Spokesman Steve Ammerman says the group is generally pleased with the proposed Farm Bill.

The Farm Bill is the source of funding for the SNAP, or food stamp, program. The level of funding is a major sticking point, and the House Agriculture Committee increased the cuts to the program. Congressman Maloney says the cuts are too steep, but compromise is possible.

Hunger Free Vermont Executive Director Marissa Parisi is very concerned and is adamant that the nutrition community cannot stand for the cuts made in the House version of the bill.

The Farm Bill was supposed to be completed last fall, but stalled in the House. Vermont Farm Bureau President Clark Hinsdale says it’s crucial that it pass, because it’s not just farmers who rely on its provisions.

The Senate is expected to take up floor debate on the bill next week. The House has yet to schedule any action.

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