Nutrition Bill Passes House

Cindy Zimmerman

lucasAll Democrats voted against the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act, but nearly all Republicans voted for it, enough to pass the bill that finally completes the House work on a farm bill.

“This has been an unusual process, but it remains my goal to get a five-year farm bill enacted,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK). “It shouldn’t be this hard to pass a bill that ensures all of us in this economy have enough to eat. And that’s what a farm bill does.” Rep. Lucas floor remarks

petersonA series of Democrats took to the floor to argue against the bill that contains reforms that would save nearly $40 billion in food stamp costs over ten years.

“There’s no reason to pass this bill other than to placate some people that want to make a point,” said Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), ranking member of the agriculture committee. “This bill isn’t going any place in the Senate, the president wouldn’t sign it, so I don’t know what we’re doing.”Rep. Peterson floor remarks

However, passage of the bill does pave the way now for a farm bill to finally make it to conference committee, according to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). “As I understand it, the Senate probably will have to re-appoint conferees,” he said during his weekly press briefing before the bill was passed. “When they ask for a conference, we’ll appoint our conferees as well, and the sooner the better.”

Whether the sooner is soon enough to get a new bill signed into law before the current farm bill extension expires on September 30 remains to be seen.

Audio, Farm Bill, Government