All 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
“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.