Cotton Industry Deeply Disappointed House Rejects Bipartisan Farm Legislation
The farm legislation rejected by the House would have provided a predictable, long-term safety net while saving more than $40 billion over the next 10 years; reforming and streamlining programs; and providing a basis for the resolution of a long standing trade dispute.
MEMPHIS – The farm legislation rejected by the House would have provided a predictable, long-term safety net while saving more than $40 billion over the next 10 years; reforming and streamlining programs; and providing a basis for the resolution of a long standing trade dispute.
National Cotton Council Chairman Jimmy Dodson, a South Texas cotton producer, said, "U.S. farmers need a stable, long term policy in order to continue to make the substantial investments necessary to continue to adopt new technology necessary to provide safe, affordable food and fiber to U.S. processors and consumers and to maintain competitiveness in world markets. The U.S. cotton industry is deeply disappointed that the House failed to approve the legislation approved by the Agriculture Committee on a strong bipartisan vote after two years of extensive debate and consideration hundreds of amendments."
The cotton industry is deeply grateful to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) and many Cotton Belt members for their tireless efforts to develop and promote approval of this important legislation which would have eliminated the uncertainty associated with one-year extensions.
The industry also is grateful that during the debate, the House rejected proposals to apply income tests and limitations on crop insurance and rejected a proposal to terminate the highly effective export promotion program (MAP) but is disappointed the House approved a proposal to add more qualifications and further tightened a limitation on farm program benefits delivered by USDA's Farm Service Agency.
The House Agriculture Committee and the full House thoroughly debated more than 200 amendments during the legislation's development. NCC Chairman Dodson said Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Peterson are to be commended for the open process under which the legislation was developed and debated.
The cotton industry urges House leaders to allow the bipartisan farm bill produced by the Agriculture Committee to be reconsidered by the full House so that a Conference Committee can resolve differences between their respective bills and a new farm law can be enacted before the expiration of current law.