South Dakota Farmers Union disappointed in House vote to split farm bill

Farm Forum

HURON – South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives today voted in favor of a farm bill that includes farm programs and takes out nutrition and food programs while repealing permanent law.

“The U.S. House has turned its back on America’s needy by playing political games,” said South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke. “By taking out the nutrition and food portion of the farm bill and voting to repeal permanent law they have broken what has historically been a bipartisan piece of legislation that supports farmers and ranchers while caring for the most vulnerable among us. In the long run, splitting the farm bill into two parts will be harmful to all Americans. In doing so, Congress has assured itself of ad hoc disaster bills long into the future, not only for family farmers and ranchers but rural America and the most vulnerable citizens of this nation.”

House Republican leaders dropped the nutrition title from the farm bill which included food assistance programs to low-income Americans. Today’s vote also included a provision to repeal permanent law established in the 1930s and 1940s.

“This is an attempt to let Congress get out of the business of writing farm policy,” Sombke said. “Because of the permanent law, Congress has been forced to write new farm policy every five years to ensure that those policies reflect our current situation. Without permanent law, there is no incentive to write new legislation.”

“Farmers Union will continue to work to make sure our farmers and ranchers are protected from disaster with a strong safety net while ensuring that we’re caring for food insecure Americans,” he said.