• There were large blocs of Members on both sides of the aisle unwilling to vote for the bill as it came to the House floor.
Following the defeat of the 2013 farm bill in the House last week, ASA released a comprehensive breakdown of the forces behind the bill’s difficulties in the chamber, including divisions within and between Republicans and Democrats over the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and crop insurance.
"Finding a majority of House Members to vote for a new farm bill has eluded the Republican leadership for going on three years. The most divisive issue has been how deep to cut SNAP (the food stamp program) as part of deficit reduction," wrote ASA in the update.
"From the perspective of many House Republicans, the $20.5 billion cut over 10 years in the Committee-passed bill was too low, given that the program will cost $743 billion during that period.
“The view of many Democrats, however, was that any cut was too much, and that the reduction in the Committee bill was five times the $4.0 billion cut in the Senate farm bill. So there were large blocs of Members on both sides of the aisle unwilling to vote for the bill as it came to the House floor.
“And the bill’s managers had a very small margin of error in assembling a majority among the balance. "
ASA also looked ahead to the possible steps to be taken by the House to salvage the bill.
"ASA will be talking with House and House Agriculture Committee leaders to discuss the game plan for going forward," said ASA in the update. "Despite the disappointing vote in the House last week and the uncertainty, ASA is committed to getting a multi-year farm bill passed. We will roll up our sleeves once again to get it passed."
For the full update, please click here.
More from Southeast Farm Press