Farm Bureau Commends Senate for Passing Farm Bill; Immigration Bill hits Senate Floor

The American Farm Bureau Federation has commended the Senate for quickly moving forward to complete work on the bipartisan 2013 farm bill, the Agriculture Reform, Jobs and Food Act. The bill provides needed risk management tools and a viable economic safety net for America’s farmers and ranchers, according to AFBF President Bob Stallman.
“We appreciate the Senate’s decision to protect and strengthen the federal crop insurance program and not reduce its funding, as well as the approval of a commodity program that provides farmers varied safety net options,” Stallman said. “This approach to farm policy will encourage farmers to follow market signals rather than basing planting decisions on anticipation of government farm benefits. Most importantly, the program will be viable because the Senate stood firm on a budget savings level of $24 billion.”
Stallman credited the Senate Agriculture Committee, Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) for thorough yet expedient work on the Senate package.

“We now look forward to working with the House as it moves forward with its farm bill legislation,” Stallman said. “Timely completion of the farm bill will help provide farmers and ranchers certainty for the coming year and allow the Agriculture Department to plan for an orderly implementation of the bill’s provisions.”


The House will take up its version of the farm bill before the end of the month. 

As the farm bill moves to the House, S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, takes the spotlight in the Senate. The 900-page immigration reform bill, which covers a gamut of topics, from border security to agricultural guestworker programs, is expected to be the topic of conversation in the Senate until the July 4 recess.
“Hopefully we will see a successful vote and the bill will pass out of the Senate. Then there’s still going to be discussions in the House and right now it is a little unclear how leadership will handle the immigration issue in the House,” said American Farm Bureau Federation labor specialist Kristi Boswell. “There seems to be the sentiment that the Senate bill will not be picked up directly, that the House will have their own bill.”
Boswell adds House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte has also been given this month to have his committee discuss immigration reform and mark up individual piece-by-piece bills including an agricultural guest worker program
Please check your e-mail for the latest action alert on the immigration reform bill. If you are a Farm Bureau producer member and would like to receive action alerts, please contact Kelly Pruitt at 804-290-1293 or kprui@vafb.com.

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