In an unexpected outcome, the House of Representatives’ final vote on the 2013 Farm Bill was 195-234. The vote fell far short of the 218 required for passage.
“Ducks Unlimited is extremely disappointed in the House of Representatives’ failure to pass a five-year farm bill. The lack of comprehensive agriculture policy for the next five years could be devastating for the farm bill’s conservation programs,” said DU CEO Dale Hall. “If we are left to another one-year extension, it is very likely the conservation programs will continue to be stripped down.”
A House-passed farm bill is necessary in order to get a bill into conference with the Senate-passed 2013 Farm Bill, which included DU’s top agriculture conservation priorities of a national Sodsaverprogram and re-coupling conservation compliance to crop insurance.
The House’s defeated farm bill only contained a regional Sodsaver program that would have applied to only the Prairie Pothole Region states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota. The House also failed to consider an amendment that would have reflected the historic agreement between the conservation and agriculture communities to re-couple conservation compliance with crop insurance.
“America’s sportsmen, farmers and ranchers joined together in a coalition to compromise and support the 2013 Farm Bill. It is tremendously frustrating that the House has ignored us and failed to produce a bipartisan bill, as the Senate has done. This is a missed opportunity to do the right thing, not only for farmers and ranchers, but for America's wildlife by standing up for the programs that play a vital role in conserving habitat,” Hall said.
“A solution to this deadlock will have to be bipartisan to be strongly supported,” Hall said. “DU is in active discussions with our agriculture partners to explore a way forward that can result in passage of a five-year farm bill before the extension expires on September 30.”