WASHINGTON (WIBW) – Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (KS-02) voted against the Farm Bill Conference report, H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act Wednesday and released the following statement:
“Eastern Kansans know I have been a strong advocate for the passage of a long term, five-year Farm Bill, which would provide certainty and stability for those who produce food, fuel, and fiber for the world. The final conference report was full of missed opportunities and was one I could not support.
“Today’s Farm Bill costs too much and fails to achieve any significant regulatory reform. The inclusion of high target prices for commodities will create false production signals for producers and will lead to larger subsidy payments. Also, as a member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, I could not ignore policies which will trigger trade disputes. These are just a few examples of the many reforms that were left out of this bill and are issues to which I have been a strong advocate for in the past.
“I did not expect to make easy decisions when I came to Washington. There are many good provisions which I support in this legislation, but unfortunately, the negatives outweigh the positives. Kansans know that this bill not only impacts our farmers and ranchers but every single American family. Over the coming weeks and months ahead, I will do everything in my power to continue to be a strong voice for both American agriculture and the American consumer.”
Examples of an unaddressed trade issue is the continuation of unnecessary protectionist provisions for catfish farms, which could spark a trade dispute with Vietnam. This legislation also fails to address the World Trade Organization ruling that the USDA’s Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements violate international trade law.
A permanent fix to the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule for livestock producers was not included and is sure to have a long-lasting negative effects on the livestock industry
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office states the bill will save a mere $16 billion over the next ten years. This number is a far cry from previous versions of the Farm Bill, which at minimum would have saved the American taxpayers $40 billion.