Rep. Tom Reed voted Wednesday in support of a long-term, five-year Farm Bill to reauthorize farm programs supporting agriculture in New York’s 23rd Congressional District. The bill passed the House Wednesday with strong bipartisan support.
What Tom neglects to say is that there weren’t enough Republican yes votes to have passed the bill.
“Thanks in no small part to the input from local farmers and the hard work of the committee, I am very pleased to announce Congress came to a bipartisan agreement that cares for the needs of our farmers – the backbone of our economy,” Reed said. “Passage of a long-term plan for farmers is long overdue and it is only fair we provide them with certainty so they can make decisions for their businesses.”
Long overdue indeed, but Tom doesn’t mention the divisive struggle between GOP factions that made it two years late.
Reed says the Farm Bill is well-suited for the needs of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes, pointing to the increased support for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, expanded access to crop insurance to protect farmers against weather and natural disasters, and important reforms to diary programs to ensure support for their industry.
“Not only have we achieved a five-year Farm Bill but we have reformed and consolidated broken and outdated programs, strengthened the priorities of our region and worked toward our goal of reducing the deficit,” Reed continued. “This bill is proof that we can care for farmers across the region and country so they can help grow our economy while saving taxpayer dollars by making effective programs more efficient.”
While Tom fails to mention the elephant, SNAP, his comment on saving taxpayer dollars is a veiled note of his approval of callus cuts to SNAP.
A vote in the Senate on the bill is expected next week. Leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees said they hope to see the President sign the bill into law quickly.
Great, Congress is two years late, and Tom dares take a poke at President Obama who can’t sign the bill until Congress enacts it. President Obama is unlikely to veto this bill if the Senate passes it, but maybe he should; he could reasonably insist that SNAP funding be restored and welfare for agribusiness be cut.
© William Hungerford – January 2014