White House Report Highlights Importance of Reauthorizing Farm Bill
|SOPHIE WENZLAU - DECEMBER 5, 2013||Tweet|
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Sophie Wenzlau is a Worldwatch Senior Fellow.
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Failure to pass the bill before the end of the year could impact food prices and environmental efforts
Last month, the White House Rural Council released a report highlighting the economic importance of reauthorizing the Farm Bill, the United States’ primary food and agriculture policy tool.
The bill—which impacts food prices, environmental conservation programs, international trade, agricultural research, food and nutrition programs, and the well-being of rural communities—has been stalled in congress for over a year, in part due to disagreement over reductions to the food stamp program. House Republicans aim to cut $40 billion in food stamp funds over the next 10 years, while Senate Democrats aim to cut only $4 billion.
According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, failure to pass the bill before the end of the year could double milk prices for Americans, spark retaliatory tariffs from Brazil, and leave livestock producers who have been hit by storms and drought without standard federal assistance.
The Farm Bill can impact food prices, environmental conservation programs, and international trade. Photo source: Wikicommons user Scott Stevenson
The Obama Administration’s report, which urges Congress to reauthorize the bill as soon as possible, highlights the potential benefits of a new Farm Bill. According to the Administration, the new bill could:
The Obama Administration has made it clear that they view the reauthorization of a comprehensive farm bill as a priority, and something of importance for all Americans.
To learn more about the Administration’s position on the Farm Bill, you can read the full report here.