Rep. Cuellar Votes in Support of Farm Bill
Legislation will ease strain on rising food prices, offer support to South Texas Communities
Today, Congressmen Henry Cuellar (D-TX28) joined his colleagues in the House of Representatives by voting in support of HR 2642, the Agriculture Act of 2014, also known as the Farm Bill. The bill, which passed the House by a vote of 251-166, will extend all farm and nutrition programs for five years, and includes support for South Texas ranchers negatively impacted by cattle fever ticks.
“It is rare to see compromise in Washington these days and I am very glad to see Democrats and Republicans come together after nearly three years of debate on the Farm Bill,” said Congressman Cuellar. “I am not pleased with every aspect of this bill, especially cuts to nutrition programs, but this legislation will modernize our agriculture support systems, save American taxpayers over $23 billion, and offer our farmers and ranchers certainty on how American agriculture policy will be regulated. This package simplifies how our farmers and ranchers are assisted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and provides specific new assistance for ranchers in South Texas.”
The Agriculture Act of 2014 does not remove a single American from supplemental nutrition assistance (SNAP), and preserves crucial benefits for millions of Texans. In all, this final package cuts $8.5 billion from nutrition program – a dramatic improvement to the $40 billion in draconian cuts the House GOP originally proposed.
The 2014 Farm Bill authorizes nearly every program and portion of USDA, and this conference agreement will reshape the structure of farm commodity support, expand crop insurance coverage, consolidate conservation programs, reauthorize and revise nutrition assistance, and extend authority to appropriate funds for many U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs through FY2018.
Historically, agriculture policy is passed by Congress every 4-5 years. However, due to disagreements on commodity and nutrition assistance, USDA has been operating on an extension since the expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill is seen as a strong bipartisan agreement between rural and urban areas in ensuring the United States continues to provide Americans with the safest most abundant food supply in the world.