WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives rejected the 2013 Farm Bill by a vote of 195-234. Democrats mostly opposed the bill, in large part due to deep cuts in the food stamp program. ANLA and coalition colleagues had successfully defended the pest and disease, research, and specialty crop block grant programs most important to our industry.
But of course all that is in limbo for now. Where the Farm Bill goes from here is tough to say. But we will keep you posted of any new developments and efforts to revive the process.
On one positive note for the Christmas tree industry, a closely related industry to ours, an amendment (offered by Rep. Schrader – D-OR) to require the Obama administration to lift the stay on the Christmas tree research and promotion checkoff program passed in committee and was successfully defended against a floor amendment (offered by Rep. Walorski – R-IN) that would have maintained the stay.
With the unfortunate failure of the Farm Bill to pass, the lifting of the stay does not have the authority of law but it can be used as evidence for strong bipartisan, especially Democratic, support when the case to lift the stay is made to the Obama administration.