After more than two years of partisan squabbles over food and farm policy, the House passed and sent to the Senate an almost $100 billion-a-year, compromise farm bill containing a small cut in food stamps and preserving most crop subsidies.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said shortly after the vote that President Barack Obama would sign the bill if it reaches his desk.
The measure, which the House approved 251-166, had backing from the Republican leadership team. After wavering for several years, the GOP leaders were seeking to put the long-stalled bill behind them and build on the success of a bipartisan budget passed earlier this month. Leaders in both parties also were hoping to bolster rural candidates in this year’s midterm elections.
House Speaker John Boehner did not cast a vote on the bill, a commonplace practice for a speaker, he issued a statement saying it was “worthy of the House’s support.”
The legislation also would continue to heavily subsidize major crops for the nation’s farmers while eliminating some subsidies and shifting them toward more politically defensible insurance programs.
The bi- partisan bill will boost money for crop insurance, higher rice and peanut subsidies for Southern farmers; and renewal of federal land payments for Western states. The bill has created a more enabling environment that would agricultural production, food security, enhanced food reserves and also provide enough cheap and affordable food for all.
For those seeking reform of farm programs, the legislation would eliminate a $4.5 billion-a-year farm subsidy called direct payments, which are paid to farmers whether they farm or not. But the bill nonetheless would continue to heavily subsidize major crops — corn, soybeans, wheat, rice and cotton — while shifting many of those subsidies toward more politically defensible insurance programs. That means farmers would have to incur losses before they could get a pay-out.
The bill would save around $1.65 billion annually overall, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The amount was less than the $2.3 billion annual savings the agriculture committees originally projected for the bill.
Lessons for Nigeria are enormous………I will articulate this in another post shortly