House begins farm bill debate

Published online: Jun 18, 2013
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The House is prepared to get to work on the farm bill.

In prepared remarks, Ag Committee Chair Frank Lucas explained the four-year process used to generate the bill including consideration of more than 200 amendments during markup. He noted the bill was voted out of the ag committee 36-10 with 23 out of 25 Republicans and 13 out of 21 Democrats supporting it.

"The result is legislation that calls for reduced spending, smaller government and common-sense reform," Lucas said.

Ranking member Collin Peterson voiced his support for the bill, "With roughly 16 million American jobs tied to agriculture, the farm bill is a jobs bill.

"Failing to pass a new, five-year farm bill could potentially devastate our rural economy. Why would we want to jeopardize the one part of the economy that has been, and continues to be, working?"

The Minnesota Democrat says he knows there are going to be a lot of amendments offered, "but it's my opinion that in order for the bill to be conferenced, to be able to get a new bill signed into law before Sept. 30, we need to keep this a bipartisan bill and not stray too far from what was approved in committee."

As of Monday, more than 220 amendments had been posted and the White House says the president would veto the bill as it stands right now.