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Iowa Lawmakers React To Farm Bill Passing House

(CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Iowa's lawmakers are sounding off after the U.S. House passed a farm bill scaled-back farm bill, without a food stamp extension.

Democratic Representative Dave Loebsack:
“It is unconscionable that the dysfunction of Republicans in the House has led to this highly partisan legislation that does not provide the support our farmers and rural communities deserve.  There has been a coalition of agriculture and nutrition groups that have worked together for decades to pass a Farm Bill.  The House Republicans’ decision to split the bill is about Washington politics, not getting a farm bill done.  The decision to put partisan politics ahead of farmers is opposed by agriculture advocates including both Iowa Senators, Harkin and Grassley, and the American Farm Bureau, along with a group of 530 agriculture and rural development organizations, who have all expressed opposition to moving a split bill.

“I have been fighting to get a bipartisan Farm Bill signed into law.  We have to move this process forward and pass a bill that can go to conference with the Senate and be signed into law.  This legislation does not move the bill forward; it is in fact a step back.  The House needs to do its job and pass a long term Farm Bill. The continued partisan games will only continue to further delay the enactment.”

Democratic Representative Bruce Braley:
“This is a fake Farm Bill. It’s nothing less than a wolf in sheep’s clothing that would dismantle the Farm Bill itself. That’s why more than 530 agriculture groups have criticized splitting the Farm Bill like this and why many groups – including the Farm Bureau and the Renewable Fuels Association – are opposing this bill entirely.”

“For over two years, I’ve fought tooth and nail to pass a long-term extension of the Farm Bill. The only way it’s going to happen is if Republicans and Democrats support a bipartisan bill.  Congress must work together to find common ground – not continue playing political games that drive people further apart.”

Republican Representative Steve King:
"I am pleased my Republican colleagues in the House came together to pass a Farm Bill today,” said King. “FARRM provides certainty to farmers and producers by being cognizant of our current fiscal situation, saving almost $20 billion over the life of the bill and ending direct payments to farmers.

While I am disappointed the Farm Bill that passed the House today did not contain changes to current nutrition policy, I am hopeful that House Leadership will bring a nutrition bill to the Floor soon so we have the chance to make necessary reforms to bloated nutrition policies.

I want to thank Chairman Frank Lucas and my colleagues on the House Agriculture Committee who fought for passage of this bill. I look forward to our continued work together on agriculture policy this year."

Democratic Senator Tom Harkin:
“House Republicans have demolished the very coalition that has served our whole nation well for decades – a coalition of rural and urban, farmers and consumers. Their actions today abandon U.S. families who need our help to put food on the table while destroying the time-tested farm bill alliance that has drawn urban votes for agricultural and rural programs. This House action is a grave disservice to the entire nation – farmers, ranchers, rural communities, consumers and urban areas.”

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