What's next for the Farm Bill?

Reported by: Rebecca Rivers
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Updated: 6/24/2013 10:12 am
Starting with what's next for the Farm Bill. As we brought you last week, a big disappointment. The Farm Bill failed to pass out of the House.

But after speaking with several producers and local agriculture organizations over the last several days, farm policy is not necessarily at a standstill. There's still time for the House to reconvene and move forward to try to get the mere 23 additional votes they would need to pass the bill by reaching the 218 vote majority .

Tom Sell with Combest, Sell and Associates said that the House will try to get the process back on track as soon as possible, and they hopefully learned something from this loss.

"The good news is we still have crop insurance in place, we have a '13 bill in place, nothing has to be done before the end of the year per say, so there's time to work through this and learn from the mistakes and come back stronger," Sell said. "Like in most things, work is never wasted, so they plowed through a lot of amendments. There were 270 filed, they plowed through 107 amendments on the House floor, and had some really key victories for agriculture. They defeated some hostile amendments that would have totally gutted the crop insurance program, they defeated an amendment that would have taken away the sugar program, some of the real poison pills for were defeated and that work has been done. So presumably when this bill is kind of repackaged in a way that they think will be able to get the votes, they won't have to go through all of that work again. They'll basically pick up where they left off going toward that final package type of vote and then that will allow them to go to conference."

At the point a House Farm Bill does pass on the floor this summer, both the Senate and House versions will then be evaluated at conference which consists of committee chairs agreeing on a final version comprised of both. Then the next Farm Bill would have to be approved by the President.

We will certainly continue to keep you updated on any movement regarding the Farm Bill in coming weeks. Of the 36 representatives from Texas, 15 voted against the bill while 21 supported it. Congressmen Neugebauer, Conaway, and Thornberry all voted for it.
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