The full House Agriculture Committee passed the farm bill early Thursday morning by a vote of 35 to 11. The legislation now moves to the House floor.e. The Farm Bill passes through Congress once every five years.
According to the Agriculture Committee website, the 2012 farm bill reforms several federally funded payments, consolidates and streamlines programs and reduces the deficit by $35 billion.
The bill would end direct payments made to farmers to encourage them not to plant certain crops. However, the bill would create a risk management system to help farmers face challenges caused by weather conditions and market fluctuations.
The bill also contains deeper cuts than the Senate's version to the food stamp program.
The bill's next stop is to the full House for debate and votes. Then, the House and Senate will need to merge their bills, vote on the legislation and finally send it to President Obama to be signed before the September 30 deadline.
Ranking Member Collin Peterson stated that Congress will ultimately finish the bill in September and the bill has received support from a variety of agriculture and export groups. Economic analysts and some lawmakers, however, are concerned that an extension of the bill appears to be the most likely option. If a farm bill is delayed until after the November election or till 2013, economists say even deeper cuts will be made to the legislation.
Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) chaired the meeting.