Congressman votes against committee report on farm bill.

Congressman James Lankford voted today in opposition to H.R. 2642, the conference committee report for the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, otherwise known as the “Farm Bill.” The bill passed the House in a vote of 251-166.

“I applaud the tireless work of Chairman Lucas and the Ag Committee over the past three years to put together a Farm Bill, and I was proud to support the significant reforms and revisions in the two previous versions of the bill. However, Senate Democrats’ demands during the conference committee process took out many of the important reforms to farm and food stamp policy that earned my support in the past,” said Lankford.

“I strongly support the important work of our farmers and ranchers in Oklahoma. Hard-working farming and ranching families throughout the country deserve clarity, consistency and updated food and farm policies from Washington. While this bill does update and reform a number of significant farm policies, it falls short in other areas, where change is desperately needed. Baseline farm policy still defaults to pre-World War II-era. We lost protections against discrimination of food products manufactured in other states. The bill did not sufficiently address federal farm program duplication. The bill also did not repeal costly and burdensome country-of-origin labeling, which could expose us to potential trade retaliation from Canada and Mexico.

“The conference committee battle included reforms to the food stamp section, which is 80% of the cost of the bill. While I’m glad a majority of Congress sees the need to reform the current program, it did not make sufficient progress on revisions to the safety net for our needy families to earn my support. The federal government should encourage work and help people get out of poverty and find fulfilling work, so families can regain their independence. This bill’s final version lost the reforms to incentivize work in the transition away from food stamps, which in the long-term hurts the poorest Americans.