WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after the House voted down the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, the farm bill.
“The inability of the House to come together and move a farm bill forward is inexcusable. I have been calling for a farm bill for over a year now. Failure to enact a farm bill means jobs in our rural communities are at risk and cuts to rural and farm initiatives critical to Iowa’s economy are likely. I stood with the entire Iowa delegation to advance this critical legislation for farmers, Iowa’s economy, and families. The Senate was able to find commonsense compromise. The House needs to do the same.
“I am deeply concerned with the extreme cuts to anti-hunger initiatives, known as SNAP, that were contained in the bill. Our economy is still struggling to recover and many families rely on this program to put food on the table and ensure their children do not go to school hungry. I was the only member from Iowa to cosponsor an amendment to restore these cuts and fought to have it included in the bill. Today’s vote shows that restoration of SNAP funding is critical to a farm bill being enacted.
“I am also concerned that this bill would have gutted rural energy measures that are critical to Iowa jobs and energy independence. There were over 1,600 rural energy projects initiated in Iowa between 2003 and 2012, many stemming from farm bill energy programs. These investments are vitally important to job creation and Iowa’s economy. I led the fight to ensure farmers and rural businesses have continued access to an important energy and economic development tool with my amendment that was added to the bill to strengthen the REAP program.
“I will continue to fight to get a farm bill signed into law that supports families, farmers and our rural economy.”