WASHINGTON, June 11, 2013 - Today, Secretary Vilsack made the following statement on Senate passage of the Food, Farm and Jobs Bill:
"I'm very pleased that the Senate acted in bipartisan spirit to approve the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act. In particular, I appreciate the work of Chairman Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member Thad Cochran for leading a bipartisan effort to approve the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act. Rural America has been too long without a comprehensive, multiyear Food, Farm and Jobs Bill. Passage of this legislation by the Senate is a promising development and an important one for rural communities and families. It provides a strong safety net for agriculture, while making needed reforms by eliminating the direct payment system and tightening payment and eligibility requirements. The Administration intends to continue to work with the Senate through the conference process to achieve the savings included in the President's Budget in the crop insurance and commodity programs while addressing the important priorities of the bill. This is not just a farm bill - it's a trade bill, a conservation bill, an innovation bill and above all, a job creation bill.
The House of Representatives once again has an important opportunity to continue toward passage of a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill, and I am encouraged by indications that the House will follow regular order and consider a bill. However, I remain deeply concerned that the House version contains dramatic reductions in support of nutrition programs that are critical for the well-being of millions of working families, while also benefitting farm and rural economies. As this process continues, I am hopeful that a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill ultimately reflects President Obama's commitment to revitalizing our economy and strengthening our families, including through adequate provision of important nutrition assistance programs."
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