From the Center for Rural Affairs
Fortenberry’s payment limit reform amendment passes
Lyons, NE – Wednesday the House of Representatives rejected final passage of the House Farm Bill by a 234-195 vote.
In an even more historic move, however, the full house voted, 230 to 194, in favor of an amendment offered by Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) that would cap farm program payments so they support family farmers and ranchers, not passive investors and mega-farmers. “We thank Representative Fortenberry for leading the charge to close the gaping loopholes that have made a mockery of farm program payment limitations,” said Traci Bruckner, Assistant Policy Director at the Center for Rural Affairs. “Representative Fortenberry’s tireless advocacy for reducing the subsidies that mega-farms use to drive family farmers out of business is laudable,” continued Bruckner.
According to Bruckner, the final passage of the House Farm Bill failed in part because of huge cuts to the food stamp program and because the rules established for the debate did not allow for further consideration of needed reforms to federal crop insurance premium subsidies. The House Rules Committee did not allow amendments that would have reduced premium subsidies for those making over $750,000 in adjusted gross income. Nor did they allow a vote on an amendment that would have placed a cap on federal crop insurance premium subsidies to mega-farmers.
“Rep. Fortenberry’s amendment was a good amendment, an historic silver lining, in a farm bill that otherwise did not adequately reflect rural America’s most important priorities,” added Bruckner. “The failure of this farm bill vote sends a clear signal that the Farm Bill needs much greater reform to achieve passage.”
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