The U.S. House passed a Farm Bill today. Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, talked with reporters shortly after the vote. “While the wait to pass a Farm Bill has taken far too long, I’ve very happy that a plan with strong bipartisan support just passed today in the House by a vote of 251-156,” Braley says. Iowa’s entire House delegation voted for the bill.
Braley, who is running for the U.S. Senate in 2014, says the bill is not perfect, but will give farmers the certainty that they need. “When you’re working with a bipartisan House and Senate with people representing very different interests form their House and Senate districts, sometime you have to weigh the benefits of the comprehensive bill that we voted on today, and the things that disappoint you,” Braley says.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley raised concerns that the payment caps in the bill were watered down. Braley says he has some concern about that, but says there had to be some compromises. “I think we’ve made substantial progress in eliminating direct payments and I think we’ve made substantial progress in making sure that these payments go to people who truly deserve them. And we could do more to reduce the deficit through the Farm Bill, but there were a lot of competing interests,” according to Braley. Senator Grassley, a Republican said he is not yet sure if he will support the bill.
Congressman Dave Loebsack released this statement on the bill:
“This day is more than two years overdue. I am pleased that the Farm Bill finally got to this point, but the fact it took so long is another black eye for Congress. Farmers across Iowa and the nation have been waiting for this new legislation to provide the stability they need and deserve to be able to plant crops, raise livestock, and make investments that create jobs with certainty.
“While this legislation does take steps in the right direction, in the true form of compromise, not everyone got what they wanted. I am pleased that this farm bill includes a robust investment in the Energy Title so we can continue to create good jobs, provides strong crop insurance options, and found an agreeable path forward on SNAP assistance. This bill also contains other much needed reforms along with lowering the deficit.”
“I urge the Senate to take up this legislation quickly so it can be sent to the President and signed into law.”
Congressman Steve King issued this statement:
“This has been a long time coming for a final Farm Bill to be completed,” said King. “I am pleased that we have produced a 5-year Farm Bill for the people of Iowa and all Americans so they can have the agriculture policy predictability they deserve. The Fourth District is one of the leading agricultural production districts in America and I look forward to this bill helping continue that growth.
However, I’ve had my reservations. The livestock industry was not treated right by Senate Democrats and I resolve to bring those issues to a proper conclusion.
This was a good, bi-partisan effort and I am grateful for the hard work and efforts of Chairman Frank Lucas and my fellow Agriculture Committee Members. I was honored to be a voice at the table for Iowans throughout this process and I will continue my work to support sound agriculture policy moving forward.”