The Farm Bill, with all of its promising farm, trade, and conservation programs, was all set to go. The Senate approved it. It was just up to the House to vote in favor. Unfortunately, the result was less than favorable. The result was failure, frustration, and shock. The result was incredibly unfortunate for farmers, consumers, and the country as a whole.
Optimism was high until a food stamp amendment was brought to the table. From here, the controversy picked up and the Farm Bill fell apart. The GOP passed an amendment to institute work requirements for food stamps. The massive cuts that were proposed to the $75-billion food stamp program caused Democrats to pull out and strongly reject the Farm Bill. The cuts were steep and Democrats feared that millions of the country’s poor would be pushed out of the program.
Yet, the opposition by the Democrats wasn’t the only reason for the bill’s defeat. There was, Democrats aside, a strong split amongst the Republicans as well.
What happens to the Farm Bill moving forward?
The future of the Farm Bill is uncertain. At this point, it is not looking very promising. It is very much in limbo as the House weighs its options, reassessing the best way to move ahead. Analysts and lobbyists predict that the outcome will simply involve an extension of the farm bill that is currently in place. There is great opposition to this option, so it will be interesting to see what will ultimately unfold.
The hope by supporters, including many agricultural groups, ag lending and banking groups, is that the bill will be re-considered. The hope is that a deal will be reached to revive the bill to provide the farming industry the support and legislation it really needs. Without it, agricultural groups are in a rocky place.