Neugebauer Votes to Pass Farm Bill Out of Committee

May 15, 2013 Issues: Agriculture

WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) voted today to pass the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act out of the House Agriculture Committee.  The bill passed by a bipartisan vote of 36 to 10. 

“I’m really pleased that we passed a strong farm bill out of committee today,” Neugebauer said.  “Farmers and ranchers in West Texas are looking for certainty, and this bill maintains a strong safety net while reducing government spending.”

 As originally introduced, the FARRM Act reduces spending by nearly $40 billion over ten years and repeals or consolidates more than 100 programs to improve efficiency at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Approximately half of the reductions, about $20 billion, come from tightening eligibility standards and eliminating loopholes in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  Nutrition spending makes up more than 80% of the farm bill, and the $20 billion in cuts represent only a 2.5% cut in the SNAP program.

“I think there’s more room to target our nutrition funding better,” Neugebauer said.  He offered an amendment that would have reduced duplicative SNAP spending and eliminated even more loopholes.  Had it passed, it would have reduced spending by an additional $12 billion.  “There are families who truly need nutrition assistance, and with these reforms, I’m working to ensure taxpayer dollars are targeted to those families,” Neugebauer said. 

The FARRM Act includes Neugebauer’s group crop insurance policy: the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO).  SCO allows producers to buy additional coverage on their crops so they don’t suffer from large deductibles in the event of a loss. 

“Crop insurance is an efficient, market-based risk management tool, and I’m pleased it was included in the farm bill,” Neugebauer said.  “I’m grateful to Chairman Frank Lucas for his work on this legislation, and I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues and Congressional leadership to make this bill law.”