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House Agriculture Committee Advances Farm Bill

WASHINGTON—The House Agriculture Committee voted 35-11 to advance its version of the 2012 Farm Bill—the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2012. The 5-year legislation bill would save taxpayers money, reduce the nation’s deficit, and repeal outdated policies, while reforming, streamlining and consolidating others.

Specifically, the House version would reduce spending by $35 billion by cutting $23.6 billion in commodity spending and $16.5 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) among other actions.

In June, the Senate voted 64-35 to pass the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012, a 5-year, half-trillion dollar legislation that would bring sweeping reform to U.S. agriculture policy and reauthorize the 2012 Farm Bill set to expire Sept. 30, 2012. The Senate’s version is expected to save $24.7 billion over the next 10 years by eliminating direct payments, consolidating programs to end duplication, and taking action against food assistance abuse.

“Today marked an important step forward in the development of the next farm bill. I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues and the bipartisan nature in which this legislation was written and approved. This is a balanced, reform-minded, fiscally responsible bill that underscores our commitment to production agriculture and rural America, achieves real savings, and improves program efficiency, said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas.

The current farm bill expires on Sept. 30, 2012, and there only 13 legislative days before the August recess. The House leadership now needs to bring the farm bill to the floor for a vote.

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