Source: House Committee on Agriculture
Rep. K. Michael Conaway, chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, held a hearing Wednesday, Feb. 11 to review the state of the rural economy. The hearing comes just days after the 1-year anniversary of the enactment of the 2014 Farm Bill. Implementation of the law was the main topic of discussion as members of the committee asked Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack about progress.
“Right now there is a long list of challenges facing our farmers and ranchers, including rising input costs, volatile commodity prices, regulatory burdens, unpredictable tax policy, and rising foreign subsidies and tariffs, so implementing the farm bill as Congress intended is very important,” Conaway said. “It is equally important to keep a clear line of communication between the committee and the department, and I appreciated the secretary taking time to update us on his team’s efforts to put the farm bill in place.”
Members also expressed disappointment in the president’s recently released budget proposal to cut crop insurance – the centerpiece of the farm bill safety net.
“We have a new farm bill on the books that passed with bipartisan support,” Conaway said. “The president’s proposed cuts to crop insurance, which the secretary has vocally supported, would undermine the farm bill and make the inherently risky business of growing our nation’s food supply even riskier. We should recognize the contributions agriculture has made to deficit reduction and give the new farm bill time to work.”
The Honorable Tom Vilsack, secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.